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Subaru to invest $400M in Lafayette plant, hire 900

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Subaru plans to invest at least $400 million to expand its factory in Lafayette and will add 900 workers to build the Impreza compact car there in 2016, company officials said Wednesday morning.

The plant now employs about 3,600 people and builds the Legacy and Outback cars and the Tribeca SUV. It also builds the Camry midsize car under contract with Toyota Motor Corp., the top shareholder in Subaru with a 16.5 percent stake.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive, a subsidiary of Japan-based Fuji Heavy Industries, said it will boost capacity at one of two assembly lines at the Lafayette plant—the one that is now being used to build the Camry—from 100,000 vehicles to 200,000 vehicles.

The comany's plans entail expanding operations at its 832-acre Lafayette campus by more than 500,000 square feet. The project also will involve the installation of new equipment, primarily in the paint and body-assembly sections. Construction is slated to begin this fall, with completion expected by the end of 2016. Production of the Impreza is expected to start at about that time.

Subaru's total investment in the expansion will be between $400 million and $450 million, the company said.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Subaru up to $9.5 million in conditional tax credits and $500,000 in training grants, based on the job-creation plans. The tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is not eligible to claim incentives until employees are hired.

The city of Lafayette will consider property tax abatements for the project, according to an IEDC release.

Subaru sold 724,500 vehicles globally for the fiscal year ended March, up 13 percent from the previous year, with 357,600 of them in the U.S. It sold 163,100 vehicles in Japan.

Subaru's U.S. sales have doubled in the past five years. In 2012, more than half of all Subarus sold in North America were built in Lafayette, according to the company, including more than 271,000 assembled there in the fiscal year ending March 31.

U.S. sales of the Impreza, now built in Gunma, Japan, have fallen 31 percent this year, due largely to a shortage of vehicles on dealer lots. Ward's Automotive says Subaru has only enough Imprezas on the ground to supply dealers for 29 days. A 60-day supply is considered optimal.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, Subaru sold 108,000 Impreza cars in the U.S., all imported from Japan.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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