An official with Subaru of Indiana Automotive in Lafayette says continued sales growth led to the “natural decision” to expand the 4.7 million-square-foot facility. SIA announced Wednesday it is investing $158 million to build a new service parts facility and add a transmission assembly shop on the 820-acre campus and create up to 350 jobs by 2023. Rachel Hazaray, assistant general counsel and senior manager at SIA, says construction on the project will begin this summer.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Hazaray said Subaru has had 11 consecutive years of sales increases in the United States and the automaker expects that to continue in 2020.
“For scale purposes, approximately 50% of all Subarus sold in North America are built here at our plant at Subaru of Indiana Automotive,” said Hazaray. “So this decision to make the investment at SIA was really a natural decision just to continue growing production at our facility, which is in our largest market.”
SIA produces the Subaru Legacy, Impreza, Outback and Ascent models, with about 410,000 vehicles being made each year. Hazaray says the local community has been a great partner in the plant’s nearly 35-year history. She also credits the workforce in the area with the plant’s success.
“It is a very tight job market not just for us but for a lot of employers, but we’ve tried to do as much as we can to take matters into our own hands. Just within the last year, we opened a $4.2 million Technical Training Center here on our site and the idea really is to develop the workforce that we need for our careers in advanced manufacturing.”
SIA employs more than 6,000 people in Tippecanoe County. In a news release Wednesday, Governor Eric Holcomb credited companies like Subaru for making Indiana a national leader in manufacturing.
“For nearly 35 years, Subaru has been an important partner in supporting Indiana’s economy and creating great career opportunities in the community,” said Holcomb. “With this latest commitment, I’m even more confident they’ll continue to play a key role in keeping Indiana on a path to success for generations to come.”
Hazaray says the new operations are expecting to begin in 2023, though more specific details will be available in the coming months.
Hazaray said Subaru has had 11 consecutive years of sales increases in the United States and the automaker expects that to continue in 2020.