It is very, very good to be Subaru right now. The company is rolling, with its global operating profits increasing 21 percent last quarter. While part of that is due to favorable currency conditions, the simple fact is that Subaru is selling a lot of cars, particularly in North America.
The company’s North American branch is expected to hit its sales goal of 600,000 units per year five years ahead of schedule, after moving 570,000 units in the recently completed fiscal year (remember, the Japanese fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31). Last quarter alone, Subaru NA saw a 12 percent increase in sales, significantly more than either the company’s home market or the increasingly vital Chinese market, where sales declined by one and 14 percent, respectively.
With such promising results, it is no surprise that Fuji Heavy Industries President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga announced plans to bump up production at the company’s Indiana factory. Yoshinaga-san is pushing for annual capacity of 394,000 units by the end of calendar year 2016, adding that inventory levels in the US are too low.
“If only we had more cars, we could be selling more,” Yoshinaga said during a news conference.
FHI’s previous plans for the factory were much less aggressive. Originally, production would be expanded to 328,000 units by 2017, with an eye towards a full 400,000 units per year by 2021.
With 394,000 rolling out of the Lafayette, IN factory by next year, though, it’s clear how keen Subaru is to take advantage of such strong demand.