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Subaru to crank up U.S. output with $230M expansion of Indiana plant

by Nat Shirley

A new report suggests Subaru is planning to increase its U.S. production capacity by 30 percent.

Subaru is reportedly planning an expansion of its Lafayette, Indiana, plant that will significantly boost the automaker's United States production capacity amid record demand.

According to Japan's Nikkei business daily (via Automotive News), Subaru is planning to invest $230 million to increase output by 30 percent at its Indiana factory - the company's only U.S. production facility. On an annual basis, the plant is currently capable of producing 170,000 Subaru vehicles and 100,000 units of major Subaru stakeholder Toyota's Camry sedan.

Although Subaru has declined to comment on the Nikkei report, its parent company Fuji Heavy Industries acknowledged last month that it was actively studying a possible expansion to the Indiana plant to support booming sales.

Through the first 11 months of 2012, Subaru's U.S. volume increased by 28 percent to a record 299,788 units, thanks in part to an 184 percent upswing in Impreza sales. Should the Indiana plant expansion become a reality, Subaru could potentially produce the Impreza as well as the new Forester in the U.S. for the first time - as both vehicles are currently built in Japan, the move would allow the company to increase its profits by sidestepping the strong yen.

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