All-new Im­preza now made in In­di­ana

The Witness - Wheels - - HIGH RIDERS -

THE all-new Subaru Im­prezas started rolling off the assem­bly line in In­di­ana this month.

Subaru is a unique brand in that it ac­tu­ally makes cars to sell, as op­posed to mak­ing cars to qual­ify for huge tax re­bates.

This means each Subaru is pre-or­dered from the fac­tory and, in­stead of hav­ing to pro­vide huge dis­counts to move stock, Subaru deal­ers are all beg­ging Fuji Heavy In­dus­tries (FHI) for more units.

Well over half of the pro­duc­tion from Ja­pan goes straight to the U.S., leav­ing South Africa’ largest Subaru dealer, Pietermaritzburg, well down the line when it comes to hav­ing or­ders filled.

To meet in­creas­ing de­mand for the Im­preza in the U.S., FHI has de­cided to move the pro­duc­tion of the Im­preza to In­di­ana, which al­ready builds the Subaru Legacy, Out­back, mainly for the U.S. and Cana­dian mar­kets.

The an­nual pro­duc­tion fig­ures of this small plant are a stark re­minder that South Africa is a very small player in­deed in the world mar­ket.

To keep up with grow­ing de­mand, the In­di­ana plant will in­crease its an­nual ca­pac­ity from 18 000 units a month to 32 000 units a month by the end of this year. SA’s na­tional monthly sales tally up to un­der about 40 000 units, in­clud­ing trucks and bakkies.

The new Im­preza may launch in South Africa in 2017, and it has al­ready been nom­i­nated for the World Car of the Year 2017 award (WCoty).

— WR.

PHOTO: SUBARU

The new Subaru Im­preza as it is made in the U.S., may come to SA next year.

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