November 18, 2013 / 9:50 AM / 4 years ago

Fuji Heavy says U.S. plant to shut Monday morning after tornado damage

TOKYO, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd , maker of Subaru cars, said its plant in Lafayette, Indiana, would be shut for the first shift on Monday following a tornado that damaged the facility.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc manufactures 170,000 Subaru vehicles per year as well as 100,000 Camry mid-sized cars for Toyota Motor Corp, Fuji Heavy’s largest shareholder with a 16.5 percent stake.

Fuji Heavy said it would decide on subsequent operations after assessing the situation. It was still trying to confirm whether any of its personnel were injured.

The company has found it increasingly difficult to keep up with strong demand for its Subaru vehicles, which along with a weaker yen is bolstering its profits.

Fuji Heavy said last week that the Indiana plant would stop assembling the Camry in 2017 and use the spare capacity to build its own cars.

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