Subaru Adds Jobs, Cars to Indiana Factory
In three years, the Subaru Impreza will hail from Indiana.
Subaru imports today's Impreza, which competes with the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and other compact cars, from Japan. Its sole U.S. plant in Lafayette, Ind., builds the larger Legacy sedan, the Outback wagon and a few Tribeca SUVs. It also builds the Camry sedan in a partnership with Toyota, which owns 16.5% of Subaru.
Lafayette has two assembly lines. In 2012, Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries announced a production increase along one line by 2014 to 200,000 cars a year from the current 170,000. The other line, which assembles the Camry, has an annual capacity of 100,000 units. The Associated Press reports Fuji Heavy wants to double that capacity and add the Impreza, investing $400 million and bringing employment to 4,500 from the current 3,600.
A Subaru spokesman told the AP that Impreza production will begin in 2016. It's likely the next-gen Impreza will come from Indiana, given the current car would be in its fifth or sixth model year by then. A Subaru spokesman declined to confirm details to us, however.
Lafayette has built the Camry since 2007. It also builds a handful of the slow-selling Tribeca SUV, and the plant was once a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu. Production at the plant has ebbed 5.8% through early May 2013, according to Automotive News. But Fuji Heavy is pulling strong. Net income for the fiscal year ending March 31 more than tripled, Bloomberg News notes, and U.S. sales through April are up 17.4%.