Subaru’s only factory outside Asia is located in Lafayette, Indiana. It was originally built in 1987 to produce vehicles for both Subaru and Isuzu, and has hosted manufacturing for Honda and Toyota over the years.
However, since 2016 the factory has been exclusively used to produce Subaru models for the American market. The factory currently produces certain models of the Crosstrek, Ascent, Legacy and Outback vehicles, and it can produce about 400,000 vehicles per year with a staff of 6,500 employees.
The product lineup in Lafayette could be changing, if Subaru chooses to begin manufacturing the brand’s Solterra EV in Indiana. Currently, the Solterra is manufactured at Subaru’s plant in Aichi, Japan, which renders the vehicle ineligible for U.S. Federal Tax credits for purchasers.
Charged up for change
According to sales reports, Subaru sold 915 units of the Solterra in August, up from 758 in July. Total Solterra sales year-to-date were 4,645 at the end of August. If sales continue to grow, Solterra could overtake Legacy midsize sedan sales in coming years. The company has stated a goal of 600,000 total EV sales with eight EV models by 2028, and further that half of global Subaru sales will be electric by 2030.
Of the 600,000 planned EVs, Subaru expects to sell 400,000 of them in America, making a North American production site extremely likely.
At a meeting this week in Japan, Subaru CEO Atsushi Osaki told members of the press that the company is considering several sites in America to manufacture the Solterra. While Osaki emphasized that no decisions have been made, he mentioned the Lafayette site as a logical location. The governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb, has met with Osaki in Japan recently, but the topics of that meeting were not released.