Subaru plants struggling to keep up with the demand for the Outback wagon

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

All carmakers would want to have Subaru's main problem  which is keeping up with the high demand for a product. The Outback wagon has had tremendous success ever since it debuted last summer. It's no wonder that Subaru got the highest percentage US sales increase of any brand last year. In fact, Subaru is expected to continue to outpace the market for the rest of 2010.

Starting December, Subaru of Indiana Automotive has boosted the speed of production at its plant for two times now. There are plans to increase the pace again in April and another time in July, with each push standing for a 5%-6% increase in line speed.

Motokiyo Nomura, Subaru of Indiana CEO, said that the plant workers are already working overtime daily and coming in on Saturdays too.

Nomura added that the company has spoken with its suppliers to ensure that its operations continue at this volume and won´t be interrupted. But Nomura said that there aren´t any guarantees that these changes are sufficient.

There were only three brands that increased US sales in 2009  Kia, Hyundai, and Subaru (which went up 15% in a market that dropped 21%). For the first two months of 2010, Subaru is up 33%, with dealers having sold 11,657 Outbacks in January and February 2010.

Production of the Outback began last summer in Indiana, along with a new-generation Legacy sedan. Subaru of Indiana's current production rate has an output of about 13,000 Outbacks, Legacys and Tribeca SUVs each month.

Dealers continue to hike up their demand. While Legacy sales dropped by almost a third from the first two months of 2009, the Outback demand surged. In fact, Subaru production at Lafayette has more than doubled compared with the first two months of 2009.

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