Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) is increasing service part production and adding transmission manufacturing to its Lafayette plant. The company says the $158 million investment will help reduce costs and increase growth at the facility.
About half of Subarus sold in North America are produced in Indiana, according to the company.
After several investments the last 10 years at the Lafayette facility, the new expansion will establish a transmission assembly space and increase service part production.
Scott Brand, SIA senior vice president of administration and quality control, says right now, fully assembled transmissions are being shipped from Japan.
“That international commerce is an expensive thing to logistically bring in completed transmission assemblies into the factory and it’s much better for us to produce those,” says Brand. “It gives us one, a little bit of a logistics advantage and secondly it gives us flexibility in our model line-up.”
He says the Lafayette plant has grown with consumer demand and he is optimistic it will continue.
“By bringing transmission here, that is really a crowning achievement for us because Subaru would not make that decision without knowing that SIA was ready to produce good quality,” says Brand. “Because the transmission in a Subaru is the primary component that differentiates our product from others.”
Brand says, initially, the transmission facility will be just for assembly, but could also produce them in-house in the future.
Last year the facility opened a training center on-site that Brand says will be valuable in preparing the 350 employees expected to be hired with the expanded production.