Subaru of America has outgrown its Cherry Hill, N.J., headquarters, but it's not going to move to the West Coast, where most other Asian auto brands are based.
Instead, Subaru is looking for a site in the area where it is now based. Cherry Hill is a suburb of Philadelphia, which is 9 miles away.
The importer, a subsidiary of Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries, wants a site big enough to accommodate its 600 employees and further growth. The work force now is split between two locations in Cherry Hill: a seven-story, 11,500-square-foot building Subaru has occupied since 1986 and an ancillary building.
Subaru is being courted by communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. According to news reports, Pennsylvania is trying to entice Subaru to move to the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
Cherry Hill authorities are considering the establishment of redevelopment zones, which would cut Subaru's property tax.
Tom Doll, president of Subaru of America, says it isn't ideal having the employees in two places, even if they are in the same city.
As sales have soared in recent years, the company has been adding headquarters employees at a rapid pace. Subaru expects to sell at least 380,000 vehicles this year in the United States, up from a record 336,441 in 2012.
"We are looking for a new facility that will provide a modern infrastructure for our business needs," Doll said.
"We plan to stay in the area because it is a good place to live and work, and many of our employees have roots here."
Subaru said it will decide where to move by year end.