TOKYO -- Subaru plans to increase production capacity at its Indiana assembly plant by 40 percent this year to meet demand for the Outback wagon and Legacy sedan.
The move comes as Fuji Heavy Industries, maker of the Subaru brand, targets 2010 U.S. sales of 230,000 vehicles, spokesman Masashi Uemura said last week. The ramp-up will happen at the plant in Lafayette, Ind.
Subaru's sales goal represents a 6 percent increase over the 216,652 vehicles it sold in 2009.
Subaru's Indiana plant now has capacity for 100,000 vehicles a year, and the company wants to increase that to 140,000, Uemura said. He did not say whether Subaru would add a line, increase the speed of production or take capacity currently going to Toyota. The plant has a separate line with capacity of 100,000 units that makes the Toyota Camry.
Sales of the Outback and Legacy more than doubled in the first three months of the year, with the Outback reaching 19,275 and the Legacy 8,550.
Subaru already had been increasing the pace of production to keep up with demand.
Nikkan Kogyo, the Japanese business daily, reported that the upcoming capacity increase will involve an investment of tens of millions of dollars.
The Outback was added to the production roster in Indiana last summer, along with a new-generation Legacy.