Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. is considering a successor for the seven-seat Tribeca SUV, sparked by strong demand from its dealers in the United States. Fuji Heavy terminated output of the Tribeca in January at its Indiana site. Company spokesman Fusao Watanabe remarked that it would make sense for the Fuji Heavy to locally build a vehicle it plans to sell only in the US. Fuji Heavy is currently expanding the Indiana site’s production capacity.
The site currently has an annual production capacity, of which 100,000 is reserved for the output of the Toyota Camry. Fuji Heavy announced in May 2013 that it was planning to spend $400 million to increase the site’s annual capacity by around 100,000 vehicles by end-2016.
The company, however, received in late 2013 a notice from Toyota that it might stop output of the Camry at the Indiana site in 2017. Fuji Heavy is expected to release details of the production plan for the Indiana site on May 9, 2014, when the company unveils its mid-term plan and its earnings results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.
The Nikkei business daily recently reported that Fuji Heavy and Toyota will reach an agreement as early as this month to end Camry production at the Indiana site. Nikkei also reported that Toyota is planning to move the Camry assembly to other plants, including its own Kentucky site where it already produces the sedan.