Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is celebrating the five-millionth vehicle produced in Lafayette since opening in 1989 and Senior Vice President Tom Easterday believes the plant will hit its next five million much faster. He says expansions that have added 1,400 jobs in the last year alone continue to feed growing demand for the Subaru Outback, Legacy, and Impreza lines. The brand has notched record U.S. sales in each of the last 60 months.
Throughout the years, Easterday tells Inside INdiana Business, the plant has pumped out a variety of makes and models. Production began September 11, 1989 at what was then Subaru Isuzu Automotive. Workers have cranked out the aforementioned Subaru and Isuzu (a brand that has since been discontinued) vehicles, as well as some Toyota and Honda models during the last 27 years.
Easterday says some 200 workers that have been at the assembly plant since it opened are being honored at Friday’s celebration.
In the last four years, more than $1.3 billion has been invested in the facility to keep up with production. Easterday says staffing the 2,000 new positions during that time has proven challenging, but he says through efforts including a direct-hire partnership with the U.S. military, managers have been able to "get people in here without a who lot of problem."
SIA is the only plant in North America producing Subarus. Its parent company, Japan-based Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., moved Impreza production from the Asian nation to Tippecanoe County this year.
Throughout the years, Senior Vice President Tom Easterday tells Inside INdiana Business, the plant has pumped out a variety of makes and models.