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Subaru adding production at Lafayette plant

May 4, 2010
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Subaru plans to assemble more of its hot-selling Legacy and Outback cars at its plant in Lafayette.

A company spokeswoman said Tuesday that Japan-based parent Fuji Heavy Industries began ramping up production in August to ultimately increase the number of vehicles it assembles at the plant by 40 percent before the end of the year. Subaru wants to roll 140,000 units off its assembly lines this year at a plant that had capacity for 100,000 vehicles.

Subaru has hired 200 additional workers since last summer to increase assembly-line speed, spokeswoman Jennifer McGarvey said, bringing employment to 3,325.

Employees also are working up to 90 minutes of overtime each day and some are working Saturdays. Subaru, which typically runs two shifts Monday through Friday at the plant, now is running two more shifts on two Saturdays each month, she said.

"We're just trying to keep up with demand," McGarvey said.

Automotive News quoted the Japanese business daily Nikkan Kogyo as reporting that Subaru will spend tens of millions of dollars to increase production.

Sale of the cars more than doubled in the first quarter, to 8,550 Legacy sedans and 19,275 Outback wagons.

 

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