By Yoko Kubota
TOKYO May 8 Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd,
the maker of Subaru cars, plans to invest $400 million to expand
production capacity at its sole U.S. plant in Indiana by around
100,000 vehicles, the Japanese automaker said on Wednesday.
The company, which exports nearly 70 percent of its
Japan-made production, wants to make more vehicles in its
biggest market, the United States, to limit the impact of
Along with the expansion, which will utilize an existing
line, Fuji Heavy is set to hire about 900 employees at the
Subaru of Indiana factory, CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told
"We continue to see strong sales in the United States, and
we were seeing a situation in which there was a lack of car
supply," Yoshinaga said. "We think this will contribute to the
regional economy of Indiana."
The plant will start to produce the Impreza compact car
using the added capacity, he said, the first time the Impreza
will be produced outside of Japan.
The carmaker currently produces Outback, Legacy and Tribeca
at its plant in Indiana, as well as Toyota Motor Corp's
Camry. Toyota owns 16.47 percent of Fuji Heavy shares.
The plant currently has an annual capacity of 270,000
vehicles, of which 100,000 is devoted to the Camry. The capacity
for Toyota's Camry will stay at 100,000 vehicles, Yoshinaga
The $400 million investment will boost total capacity to
400,000 vehicles by end-2016.
Fuji Heavy, Japan's smallest carmaker by volume, booked on
Wednesday a record annual operating profit of 120.4 billion yen
($1.22 billion) for the financial year ended March, more than
double the 44 billion yen it booked in the previous year, on
strong sales in the United States, aided by the yen's
depreciation versus the dollar.