Subaru Corp. plans to build a dedicated electric vehicle (EV) factory in Japan in the late 2020s as a part of a $1.9 billion ramp-up to respond to surging demand for EVs in its primary North American market.
Subaru has long had a strong presence in the United States and on Thursday warned that its US dealers only have a record low stockpile of about 5,000 vehicles left, reflecting the squeeze of a supply-chain crisis.
The Japanese automaker plans to launch a mixed-production line of EVs and gasoline vehicles around 2025 before opening an EV-only production line in the new factory after 2027. The move would be the first for Subaru. Other Japanese carmakers have yet to announce plans to build a dedicated EV plant formally.
Japanese automakers are accelerating their EV production to recover ground lost to Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc., now the leader in the fastest-growing segment of the auto industry.
Subaru aims to invest 250 billion yen ($1.93 billion) over the next five years to bolster the electrification of its lineup.
Tomomi Nakamura, CEO of Subaru, said the vehicles produced in the new factory would be exported overseas. He declined to reveal specifics about the factory’s production capabilities and whether it would make cars for Toyota Motor Corp.
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