SIA makes history, adds new model to production

Tippecanoe County's economy saw changes both good and bad in 2016 (WLFI).
Tippecanoe County's economy saw changes both good and bad in 2016 (WLFI).

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The first Subaru Impreza to be built in America was revealed during a ceremony at Subaru of Indiana Automotive on Tuesday.

The Impreza had been built only in Japan. After four years of planning and investments, it is now rolling off the assembly line in Lafayette.

Senior Vice President Tom Easterday said SIA invested $1.3 billion over the past four years.

“All Imprezas sold in Canada and the United States will be built here,” Easterday said.

He said they have hired more than 1,400 new associates in the last year.

According to Easterday, for every new associate hired at SIA, “There are about 11.4 jobs created in Indiana’s economy.”

Easterday said 76,000 Imprezas are expected to be produced locally every year. SIA produces about 380,000 vehicles annually. The plant also manufactures Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles.

“We just, I believe set another record in October for Outback sales and, I think, for Legacy sales too,” Easterday said.

The 2017 Impreza is the first vehicle to be built with the new Subaru Global Platform. Easterday said this adds more stability.

“Also, the platform itself is made so that the ride is quieter, and the handling and performance of the vehicle is better,” he said.

Easterday said they plan to keep expanding to meet the needs of production.

“In 2018, we’re actually going to add a new model to the line up here,” he said. “So we’ll have another great ceremony then.”