Subaru to expand US production to boost dealer inventory

Article by Anita Panait, on April 19, 2013

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., parent of Subaru, will expand its production capacity in the United States in a bid to end a shortage of its vehicles at dealerships in the country. Fuji Heavy chief executive Yasuyuki Yoshinaga remarked in Tokyo that the carmaker is now finalizing plans to strengthen production in the US.

Yoshinaga said that Fuji Heavy is likely to announce the plan in May 2013, when it is scheduled to report annual earnings. Fuji Heavy, which saw its sales in the US surge 20 percent in 2012, aims to increase annual deliveries across the world to 850,000 by March 2016, based on plans to expand capacity in the US.

Fuji Heavy builds Outback wagons, Legacy sedans and Tribeca SUVs at its Lafayette plant in Indiana, where it also produces Camry sedans for Toyota Motor Corp. under contract. According to the Automotive News Data Center, As of April 1, 2013, Subaru’s dealers in the US had an average of 36 days of supply -- down two days from March 1.

Japanese brand dealers had an average 48-day supply on April 1, 2013 while the overall US average was 60 days, the Data Center said. Yoshinaga remarked that their US dealers are waiting for an answer on when the problem of not having enough cars will be solved, adding that the carmaker hopes to provide an answer soon. In the first quarter of 2013, Subaru posted a 15-percent hike in sales in the US to 92,527 vehicles, while the overall market only gained 6 percent, according to the Data Center.

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