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Larger plant, more jobs planned for SIA

As many as 100 new jobs are coming to Lafayette due to an expansion at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant.

SIA is investing approximately $75 million over the next two years to increase production capacity. Construction is expected to begin this summer on a 52,000 square-foot build out of the body assembly section.

Executive Vice President Tom Easterday say there is strong customer demand for the Outback and Legacy models.

"It's fantastic, the growth we've had over the last three years in particular. The whole U.S. auto market is growing and we're growing with it. And Subaru, with the innovative products it's come out with, and we're coming out with a new engine here in Lafayette for the 2013 models, will continue to help the company grow."

Easterday says the increase in production is expected to create up to 100 new jobs by the end of 2014.

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is offering the company up to $950,000 in conditional tax credits and as much as $50,000 in training grants based on the job creation plans.

Governor Mitch Daniels says state government is happy to help SIA as it leads the way for Indiana’s growing auto industry.

"It comes to about $1 million, but only if all the jobs happen. Unlike some states that hand out cash, our incentives are purely conditional, only earned as the jobs are put on the rolls."

Easterday says the additional production will have a ripple effect.

"It's been estimated anywhere from six to ten additional jobs are created in the economy for every one job created at an international automaker. So, that could mean another 600 to 1,000 jobs created in the economy from this announcement. And many of our major suppliers - 26 of them - are located here in the state of Indiana."

Even with this expansion, Easterday says there's still room to grow at the Lafayette plant. He says the government air permit allows for about 310,000 vehicles to be produced each year. However, with full production of Subaru models after the expansion and the Toyota Camry, the plant will be nearing that capacity.