TOKYO -- Subaru said last week that it will invest $400 million to expand capacity at its Indiana assembly plant and start building the Impreza compact there.
Impreza production will begin in 2016.
Overall Subaru capacity at the plant in Lafayette, Ind., will grow to 300,000 vehicles a year, from about 200,000 today, said Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries.
The factory now has two assembly lines, one dedicated to Subaru with capacity of 200,000 units a year, and one that builds 100,000 Toyota Camry sedans annually.
About $200 million will go into building a new paint plant and $160 million will extend the line. The plans call for hiring 900 workers.
Subaru now makes the Legacy sedan and Outback and Tribeca crossovers in Indiana. But the Impreza small car, Subaru's No. 3 seller behind the Outback and Forester, is now made only in Japan.
The Impreza will be produced on the existing Subaru line, in mixed production with the other models, and the expanded line will absorb spillover production of the Outback.
Subaru said it needs the extra capacity in North America to keep up with booming demand. U.S. sales reached a record 358,000 units in the fiscal year ended March 31. The company predicted 385,000 sales for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.
Also last week, Subaru announced record unit sales, revenue, operating profit and net income for the fiscal year ended March 31.