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Subaru Executives Plan To Keep Growing Car Production In Lafayette

The first Impreza rolled off the line this week in Lafayette at Subaru's only North American factory. The Japanese carmaker hired 1,400 people and invested $1.3 billion dollars to start producing the new model. Subaru executives say they plan to keep growing operations in Indiana.

Subaru's capacity has grown 55 percent in the past two years to nearly 400,000 vehicles a year — all made with parts from dozens of Indiana suppliers. Subaru Executive Vice President Tom Easterday says that means growth at the Lafayette plant actually has a big impact around the state and beyond.

"Some manufacturers obviously have moved production outside the country, but I think we should all take a lot of pride. And when I say all, I mean the whole community in the fact that we're able to bring production over here from Japan," Easterday says.

The Impreza is the first model to move over from Japanese production since the Legacy, which was the first car made at the Lafayette plant when it first opened. And now, they're already looking ahead to more expansion with a new line of crossovers starting in 2018.

Easterday isn’t sure yet how many new workers that'll require — the plant grew to 5,500 employees when they added the Impreza. With the latest hires, Easterday says they had the most luck recruiting veterans and training high school graduates for skilled positions.

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