TOKYO — Subaru’s operating profit more than doubled in the latest quarter as it dodged much of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that broadsided sales and production at rivals.
Subaru has only minimal exposure to the China market, which became the epicenter of the global outbreak in February and March. And the Japanese all-wheel-drive specialist did not suspend factory output in the U.S. until March 23, just days before the quarter ended.
Subaru shut down its factory in Japan on April 11, after the books had closed.
But citing uncertainty about the impact of the pandemic on business going forward, the company withheld its earnings forecast for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. The U.S., which accounts or 70 percent of Subaru’s global sales, began to feel the full brunt from April.
In announcing the financial results in a conference call on Monday, CEO Tomomi Nakamura noted that the brand’s U.S. strongholds are in the northeast and northwest parts of the country,…