Subaru scrambles to increase production as demand soars
Subaru has shed light on its plans to ramp up production as demand continues to soar in the US and other markets.
The Japanese automaker in May achieved its sixth consecutive record-breaking fiscal year, hitting its North America sales goal a full five years ahead of schedule. Sales are still brisk, requiring the company to quickly increase production volumes to avoid shortages.
“If we have to increase production capacity, it will be in the U.S. because that is where the demand is,” said Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries, according to Automotive News.
Approximately a quarter of Subaru’s Lafeyette, Indiana, factory capacity is currently allocated to the Toyota Camry. Subaru will cease Camry production late next year, however, freeing up 100,000 additional units in annual production capacity. Additional expansions are expected to bring output up to 394,000 units — nearly double current levels.
The company is said to be investing an additional $140 million in Indiana, after committing $400 million to add 100,000 units of production capacity by 2016. The plant is expected to hire an additional 1,200 workers, bringing the total workforce up to around 5,000 employees.
The 2016 expansion plan will involve production lines for the Legacy, Outback and Impreza, while a new three-row crossover will be built at the factory in 2018. The company is expected to announce revised sales targets when it discloses its fiscal full-year financial results in May.