Chatham, Massachusetts, United States
Subaru may be set to end production of the Toyota Camry at its Lafayette, IN facility by 2017, according to a report from the Louisville Journal-Courier and a CBS affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina. Speaking to the plant's Executive Vice President Tom Easterday, the whole affair sounds like a done deal.
"Based on changes in Toyota's production plans, they have decided that the award-winning Camry production contract will not be renewed," Easterday said. Easterday was quick to emphasize that just because Camry production would end, doesn't mean jobs will be lost. "There will be no loss of jobs at SIA as a result of this," he said, before adding that the loss of Camry production will have no impact Subaru's $400 million investment to ready the plant for Impreza production in 2016. That said, adding a promised 900 jobs may take longer than originally planned, as Camry production staff are set to be retrained on Subaru production.
SIA currently has the capacity to produce 100,000 Camrys per year, and began production of the family sedan in 2007 alongside production of the Subaru Outback, Legacy and eventually, the soon-to-be-discontinued Tribeca.
Pedal entrapment and unintended acceleration are hot-button topics these days, so automakers are always staying alert for potential problems. For Subaru and its newly introduced 2014 Forester, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall due to improperly manufactured floor mats that could become an obstruction for the gas, brake or clutch pedals. The good news, of course, is that even if drivers experience this problem, the 2014 Forester comes standard with brake override.
At issue with the floor mats on 10,137 Forester models built between January and March of this year is that the resin material used on the underside of the mats can curl when exposed to heat. If the leading edge of the driver's mat curls enough, it can come in contact with the pedals making acceleration, braking and shifting more difficult - possibly resulting in a crash. To fix the problem, Subaru is replacing the entire set of floor mats in all of the affected units. The official NHTSA recall notice is posted below.
After bringing a seriously hot concept to the New York Auto Show earlier this year, Subaru will finally reveal the production 2015 WRX at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. And while we've seen spy shots of the hotter Impreza (including the winged STI variant), Subaru has now released this teaser image, showing the bulging, scooped 'Rex that's nearly ready for its world debut.
What we can see is a car that's clearly been toned down from the conceptual version - we aren't surprised, really. But it appears that the added aggressiveness over the standard Impreza will make for a pretty hot-looking little sedan. Of course, WRX models have never exactly been pretty cars, and we don't expect this one to be, either. No matter - assuming this car follows in the footsteps of WRXes past, it should still be plenty good.
Subaru hasn't released any details about the WRX as of this writing, but again, we don't expect it to stray too much from the formula we know. Expect a turbocharged boxer engine underhood, all-wheel drive, and - hopefully - a manual transmission. Rumor has it the WRX and STI will lose their hatchback variants and go sedan-only for the 2015 model year, but we'll have to wait until the official LA debut to know that for certain. Stay tuned.