History of Subaru of Indiana Automotive

The history of SUBARU of INDIANA AUTOMOTIVE, INC. is unique to the automotive industry.  It's origins date back many decades and involve the dedication of numerous individuals and companies
. Originally, SIA was a joint venture between Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Isuzu Motors Limited. This venture was formed in March of 1987. At the beginning of 2003, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. became the sole owner of SIA. SIA Associates now build the Subaru Legacy, Outback, and Tribeca along with the Toyota Camry.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

At the very beginning, Chikuhei Nakajima established the Aircraft Research Laboratory in Japan in 1917.  From 1945 to roughly 1953, the company separated into twelve smaller companies with divisions in automobile, aircraft, rolling stock (train, diesel locomotive, ect.), industrial engine, and bus/coach production.

In 1953 Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) was established from five of the leading companies remaining after the division, and from that corporation Subaru arose.  "Subaru" is a Japanese word for Pleides (Plee-a-dees), a constellation widely known since ancient times, which is used as Subaru's logo to symbolize unity and purpose.

The company named Subaru first began manufacturing the Rabbit motor scooter.  Then, in 1958, FHI decided to enter the automobile market with the Subaru 360.  The automobile's advanced features won Subaru a lasting place in automotive history.

Now, FHI leads the way for automotive advances, including the first mass produced all-wheel drive car, the horizontally opposed boxer engine, and the innovative Subaru Intelligent Drive system.


In May 1986 FHI and Isuzu agreed to a joint venture to establish a manufacturing plant in the United States.  Of the many cities originally explored in the United States, 13 sites were eventually chosen  for further consideration in seven states, including the state of Indiana.  Hoosier pride was very evident in Indiana as cities competed to provide local access to auto parts industries, present and future.  In December of 1986 Lafayette was selected as the site for the plant and Subaru-Isuzu Automotive was incorporated in March of 1987 as the managing company for this site.  Ground was broken for the SIA plant in May, 1987.  The 2.3 million-square foot facility performs all integrated operations from stamping to final assembly.  The annual phase 1 production of 60,000 Subaru Legacys and 60,000 Isuzu pickups and Rodeos began on September 11, 1989.  The plant was officially dedicated on October 16, 1989 with a week long grand opening ceremony. In January 2003, SIA became Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. signifying the sole ownership by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. SIA discontinued production of Isuzu vehicles on July 23, 2004, and began to build the Toyota Camry on February 28, 2007.