Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the Japanese maker of Subaru cars, intends to end a shortage of its vehicles at U.S. dealerships soon by expanding capacity at its Lafayette plant.
Strong U.S. sales in December capped a remarkable year for the auto industry. U.S. sales of models manufactured in Indiana in 2012 by General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Subaru outpaced the national rate, rising 17 percent.
Subaru reported August sales up more than 35 percent from a year ago, joining other automakers in pushing U.S. sales to their highest level in three years. That could lead to increased production at its central Indiana factory.
Subaru already employs 3,600 at its Lafayette facility, with 600 workers added in the past three years. The expansion will ramp up production from nearly 171,000 cars a year to at least 180,000.
Subaru of America is halting production on one of its Lafayette plant's production lines for four days due to a parts shortage caused by Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Subaru of America is slowing production at its Lafayette plant because of a temporary auto parts shortage caused by Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
In the weeks ahead, car buyers will have difficulty finding the model they want in certain colors, thousands of auto plant workers will likely be told to stay home, and companies such as Toyota, Honda and others will lose billions of dollars in revenue.
Some observers see a parallel to the state’s seeking Japanese investment following recession in the early 1980s.
Workers at a Subaru plant in central Indiana cheered as its 3 millionth vehicle reached the end of the production line.