A New Milestone - An Unlikely SUV Is Subaru's 7 Millionth U.S.-Built Vehicle
Subaru manufactures four vehicles at the plant in Indiana, and one unlikely model was the one that helped Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) achieve a significant new milestone at the U.S. plant.
SIA announced it had built its seven millionth vehicle, and it wasn't the more popular Outback midsize SUV; it was a Crystal White Pearl 2023 Subaru Ascent Limited family hauler. The 3-Row SUV rolled off the assembly line in Lafayette, Indiana, on Thursday around 8:40 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Subaru of America sells over twice as many Outback SUVs as Ascent models. But it's not Outback; Ascent is getting the honors as the U.S. factory reaches the new seven million production number.
"Amid ongoing production challenges, this milestone has added significance," said Scott Brand, executive vice president. "Thanks to our dedicated associates, we have continued to produce big numbers despite supply chain issues."
Subaru of Indiana Automotive continues to deal with new parts shortages, which has limited its production of new models at the Indiana plant. According to Subaru Corporation, production was down 21.9 percent in December at the U.S. plant, the second consecutive month of decrease.
When did Subaru start production in the U.S.?
Subaru said that when they broke ground at the U.S. plant on May 14, 1987, the Lafayette manufacturing facility was a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu. When production began on Sept. 11, 1989, the Subaru Legacy and Isuzu Pickup were built at the plant.
The factory continued to produce Subaru models and other vehicles in the following years, including the Isuzu Rodeo, Honda Passport, and Toyota Camry. However, the plant has exclusively made Subaru vehicles since June 2016. In August, SIA produced its five millionth Subaru, a 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness.
Subaru of Indiana Automotive is Subaru's only manufacturing facility outside of Asia. Currently, it manufactures the 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV, the 2023 Ascent 3-Row SUV, the all-new 2024 Impreza compact hatchback, and the 2023 Legacy midsize sedan for North American customers.
Since 1990, the plant has increased its annual output of vehicles from 67,000 to approximately 390,000 pre-COVID.
What's next for SIA?
The next-generation 2024 Subaru Impreza compact hatchback, built in Lafayette, Indiana, will arrive this spring. It's the first remodel of the Impreza since 2017. Subaru of America says they are counting on the new Impreza hatch to attract a significant number of new customers to the brand this year.
The Impreza will remain an affordable option and arrives at a good time for compact hatchback shoppers looking for a reliable, fuel-stingy new model.
It wasn't the more popular Outback midsize SUV; the slower-selling 2023 Subaru Ascent family hauler helped the U.S. factory hit a seven million vehicle production milestone this week.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru of Indiana Automotive