As Subaru continues to set sales records here in the U.S., the automaker is looking for ways to boost domestic production at its plant in Lafayette, Indiana. Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) currently builds the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca along with a separate line dedicated to building the Toyota Camry, but Automotive News is reporting that Camry production at the plant will end in the fall of 2016 when the current contract expires. This plan was first speculated last year, but now it has been given a definitive time table.
This plant was developed as a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu in 1989, and built Subaru and Isuzu models under the same roof until 2004. In 2007, it began production of the Camry. Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, has a 16.5 percent stake held by Toyota. With the Camry needing more U.S. production and SIA having plenty of available capacity, it was a win-win for both automakers.
2013 Toyota CamryEnlarge Photo
Now, as Subaru hopes to increase U.S. sales to 600,000 by the end of the decade (up from 424,683 in 2013), SIA will play a key role in Subaru’s future growth. Subaru had already planned on expanding the plant to allow its capacity to grow from the current 170,000 units to 300,000 units; on top of that, gaining the additional 100,000-unit capacity that was dedicated to the Camry will give SIA total output capacity of 400,000 units.
After Camry production cases at SIA, the facility will begin producing the Impreza. Then, it could eventually add an upcoming three-row crossover that was previewed by the Viziv 2 Concept. Toyota said last week that it will move the production of about 100,000 Camry sedans to its Georgetown, Kentucky, plant at that time. The plant is currently being expanded, and will also build the Lexus ES beginning next fall.