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Business

Subaru maker to bump up output capacity at sole engine plant

TOKYO -- Fuji Heavy Industries will spend 20 billion yen ($194 million) in the next two years to boost automobile engine production capacity by 20% to an annual 960,000 units at its Gunma Oizumi plant.

     The company behind the Subaru brand builds all of its auto engines at the facility. It plans to lift worldwide automobile output capacity by about 40% to 1.07 million vehicles a year by fiscal 2020, creating a need for a greater capacity to supply engines.

     In conjunction with capacity expansion, the automaker will increase output of new engines with improved fuel efficiency. Lines turning out old-style engines will be gradually switched to newer ones.

     Fuji Heavy will introduce the same type of engine and a common platform on all automobiles it sells from 2016. Along with curbing future development costs, this will make it easier to begin U.S. production if a model made only in Japan becomes a hit.

     The company will thus spend about 3 billion yen this summer to improve pre-assembly processes at the Gunma Yajima plant, which makes the Forester sport utility vehicle. Production speed will also be raised, boosting capacity by 5,000 units to 627,000 vehicles a year.

(Nikkei)

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