Subaru to invest $158 million in Indiana plant

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Subaru Corp. is investing $158 million to build a transmission assembly shop and a service parts facility at its Indiana plant as the brand continues to grow in its largest market.

Once the transmission assembly shop is completed, it will mark the first time the plant will build transmissions, a plant spokesman said.

The automaker said construction is expected to begin this summer but did not disclose the size of either addition. The transmission assembly shop will be an addition to the plant while the service parts facility will be a standalone building, Subaru said. The parts facility will be used to expand production of service parts for current and past models.

Subaru expects to add 350 jobs with the investment. Once the project is complete, the automaker says there will be 6,500 employees at the plant.

Subaru builds the Outback midsize crossover, Ascent three-row crossover, Legacy midsize sedan and the Impreza compact hatchback and sedan at the Lafayette, Ind., plant. The plant started production in 1989.

Last year, Subaru sold 700,117 vehicles in the U.S., an increase of 2.9 percent and its 11th annual sales record. Subaru is aiming for another record in 2020, with a U.S. sales goal of 725,000 units.

The Indiana-built vehicles accounted for more than half of Subaru’s U.S. sales in 2019. The Outback, with sales of 181,178, lead the way while the Ascent, with sales of 81,958, was the brand’s fourth-bestselling nameplate in its portfolio.

“Our production levels have tripled over the past 10 years,” Scott Brand, senior vice president of quality and administration at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc., said in a statement. “These new projects are exciting growth opportunities to help us meet increasing customer demand.”

For the current fiscal year ending March 31, Subaru projects it will have built 390,000 vehicles at the plant. For the next fiscal year, Subaru expects production to increase to 410,000 vehicles.

The transmission assembly shop and service parts facility mark the latest investments at the plant. Last year, Subaru invested $4.2 million for a new technical training center. The automaker invested $140 million for Ascent production, which began in 2018.

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