Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA), the only Subaru plant outside Japan, just celebrated building its 4 millionth Subaru. On Monday, April 22, at 10:51 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, a silver 2019 Outback rolled off the line to mark the milestone. The facility was the product of a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu, producing about 67,000 cars per year. Devoted solely to Subarus since 2016, yearly output by the more than 5,700 factory associates hovers around 370,000 cars.
Those with a head for arcane minutiae might recall that in 2013 Subaru announced having produced the 4 millionth vehicle at the plant. An Outback also celebrated that milestone, that time a 2014 model in Dark Indigo Blue. Subaru answered our question about the previous highlight by explaining, "in the past, the plant produced Isuzu vehicles (and at one point, even the Honda Passport and Toyota Camry)." The 2013 vehicle tally counted everything rolling out the doors. This week's marker counts just the Subarus.
Honda has launched production of the 2019 Insight at its plant in Greensburg, Ind., capping $61.5 million the automaker has invested there and at three plants in Ohio to build the all-new hybrid sedan and pave the way for more electrified vehicles.
The Honda Manufacturing of Indiana plant will build all Insight models for the North American market after receiving a $32.5 million investment. That money went toward a 19,200-square-foot building expansion to accommodate in-house subassembly of the Insight's front-end module. Though it marks the first time the Indiana plant will take on modular subassembly for the front frame and components such as the radiator and cooling fan, Honda first introduced the practice on the 2016 Civic. It now uses the approach on the Accord and CR-V crossover. The Indiana plant is also now handling processes including installing electrified systems like high-voltage wiring, battery units and power control systems.
Subaru began production Monday of the new Ascent, its much-anticipated three-row crossover, at its plant in Lafayette, Ind. It's set to arrive at dealers in June as a 2019 model and will start at $32,970, including shipping.
The Ascent joins the Impreza, Legacy and Outback as vehicles built at the plant. It'll compete with three-row utility vehicles like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Chevrolet Traverse and Volkswagen Atlas. (Read our comparison of the Ascent to the former two here.)