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Old 01-31-2006, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default Camry most likely Toyota to go into Subaru's Lafayette, Indiana plant

This half-Subaru/half non-Subaru story is from the Indystar.com website via Autoblog:

Toyota: Lafayette likely will get Camry
Details remain unsettled, but plan could add 1,000 jobs at Indiana plant
By Ted Evanoff

Indiana could become a key state for Japanese automaker Toyota as it works on plans to bring a Camry assembly line to Lafayette.

A senior Toyota executive told reporters in Tokyo the company is in the final stages of deciding whether to put a Camry line in the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant at Lafayette.

"The Camry is a likely candidate to be built in Indiana,'' said Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe on Monday, according to The Associated Press. "We are currently in the final stages of deciding.''

The proposed deal could add 1,000 jobs to the 2,300-employee Subaru plant, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said.

If it happens, Toyota would have assembly lines in three Indiana plants -- something no other state has. Toyota's two truck plants at Princeton, Ind., annually can make more than 300,000 Sequoia sport-utility vehicles, Sienna minivans and Tundra pickup trucks.

"The talks are moving along seriously, but until everything is buttoned up it's just speculation,'' Toyota manufacturing spokesman Dan Sieger said Monday.
The main Camry plant at Georgetown, Ky., would remain Toyota's largest North American facility and would continue Camry assembly. It can make 500,000 autos a year.

Last fall, Toyota bought 8.7 percent of Subaru owner Fuji Heavy Industries, leading to speculation by analysts that a hybrid-electric Camry was coming to Lafayette.

The $1.1 billion Lafayette plant was opened in 1989 by Fuji and Japanese automaker Isuzu, but Isuzu's departure has left about half the plant vacant. It can produce up to 260,000 autos a year.

If Toyota takes on all the unused capacity at Lafayette, its Indiana production capacity would total 430,000 autos a year, ranking the state second in Toyota volume to Kentucky.

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