Subaru’s U.S. auto production to return to normal by November

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 11, 2011

Subaru forecasts that through summer, its U.S. auto production will be at 80% of normal levels. It expects its output to normalize by November. According to Ikuo Mori, CEO of Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the parts in the inventory are being used for the assembly of vehicles.

New deliveries are expected to start at around “summer break,” which is typically in August in Japan. Subaru’s Lafayette, Ind. facility makes the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca.

This is also where the Toyota Camry is built but on a separate production line. Mori, who announced Subaru’s full-year earnings report, said that it can’t be determined yet just what the pace of the recovery will be.

However, Mori still expects global output to attain pre-earthquake levels this November. Subaru, like Toyota and Honda, is having a difficult time of restoring production whether in Japan or abroad. Presently, Subaru’s assembly plants in Japan are operating at a reduced output.

At its Indiana factory, Subaru also has halted production on certain days and shortened production shifts on other days to conserve parts. Mori said that in April, production at its Indiana plant fell to 60% of normal levels.

It’s expected to operate at 80% of capacity in May through summer. The disruptions at Subaru’s factory led to the loss of 15,000 units from March 11 through March 31, when Subaru’s fiscal year ended. During this period, Subaru lost a total of 29,000 units of output.

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