And Scooby isn't showing any signs of slowing down.
Subaru founded its only manufacturing facility outside of Japan 35 years ago, which just happened to be in America. That was back in 1987 when Subaru was a fledgling brand, not yet reaching its full potential.
It made quirky, small-volume cars that most buyers wouldn't consider. But the brand quickly developed a following (and a reputation for its all-wheel-drive cars) that would carry it into the future. Many a fast rally car and safe station wagon later, Subaru's Lafayette plant in Indiana has made its five millionth car.
The milestone car in question is a 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness finished in Geyser Blue. There couldn't be a more fitting car. There's an excellent case to be made that the Outback Wilderness is all the car you could ever need. The wagon (now more of an SUV) is what many associate with the brand.
"Reaching our 35th anniversary and five million Subaru vehicles in the same year provides a great opportunity to reflect on how far we've come," said Scott Brand, Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) Executive Vice President. "I'm especially proud of our associates and how they continuously meet our customers' expectations for safe, quality vehicles."
Currently, the brand's Indiana plant produces a handful of models in the range, including the Ascent, Impreza, Legacy, and the Outback.
The Lafayette plant makes roughly half of all Subaru vehicles sold in North America. But it wasn't always that way.
Wind the clock back to March 17, 1987, and Subaru was in a very different place, as we discussed above.
The plant was a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu, and production at the facility did not begin until September 11, 1989. The Subaru Legacy and Isuzu's Pickup were both built at the facility. As time passed, Subaru began producing other non-Subie cars at the plant. At one point, the Isuzu Rodeo, Honda Passport, and Toyota Camry were all built in Lafayette. But since June 2016, the plant produces Subaru models exclusively.
"Our associates should take tremendous pride in this achievement," said Brand. "Along with the entire auto industry, the SIA team has persevered through more than two years of supply chain issues and production disruptions while maintaining a focus on quality."
This week, production of both the 2023 Legacy and Outback will begin. Later this year, SIA will have built its seven millionth vehicle in December. We imagine we'll be back to tell you about the plant's 10 million vehicle milestone sometime in the near future.
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