TOKYO -- Subaru will start making full-sized cars on Wednesday for the first time since production was shut down by last month's Japan earthquake, as the brand steps toward recovery.
The move restarts a trickle of some of the best-selling Japanese imports to the United States, the Subaru Forester SUV, Legacy and Impreza. Initial output will be about half the normal rate, as the company gauges parts and power supplies, spokesman Kenta Matsumoto said.
Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. has kept its Gumma vehicle assembly plant closed since the March 11 earthquake battered Japan's manufacturing sector.
Production will resume Wednesday with parts still in stock and new parts shipped from suppliers, Matsumoto said. "We don't intend to stop production from here, but if we have to we will," he said. "The situation with every part isn't entirely clear."
It had earlier resumed limited production of minicars at the plant on March 31. And the company has been making parts there for overseas factories since March 23.