TOKYO -- Electric-vehicle latecomer Subaru expects to have capacity to sell 400,000 electric vehicles a year from 2028 by adding a second EV line in Japan, signaling a dramatic ramp up as it tries to get 40 percent of its global sales from electrified vehicles by decade’s end.
As part of the rapid expansion plan, Subaru said it will also rollout four all-electric crossovers by the end of 2026, a jump from the single nameplate in the brand’s current portfolio.
All of the upcoming EVs are expected to be offered in the U.S., incoming CEO Atsushi Osaki said.
Osaki outlined the stepped-up electrification plans on Thursday, as Subaru announced that operating profit nearly tripled in the company’s fiscal year ended March 31.
Subaru’s former quality chief was appointed in March and takes the helm from current CEO Tomomi Nakamura in June.
Under the roadmap, Subaru will add a dedicated EV assembly line at its Oizumi plant in Japan as early as 2027, with capacity for 200,000 vehicles a year. That will complement a line at the nearby Yajima plant that will deliver capacity for 200,000 EVs a year from around 2026.
Combined, the two lines will enable output of 400,000 EVs a year from 2028, Subaru said.
Osaki said Subaru plans to build EVs first in Japan, despite the fact that the U.S. accounts for about 70 percent of its global sales and imported EVs will not be eligible for U.S. tax credits.
Subaru may also rely on leasing for its EVs, which may make them eligible for some incentives.
Nevertheless, outgoing Subaru chief Nakamura said Subaru’s loyal customer base would not be deterred by a lack of incentives for the brand’s EVs.
“I wonder if American consumers choose their cars solely based on tax breaks,” Nakamura said. “Our U.S. customers are quality customers. We have a higher ratio of customers buying Subarus with cash, and we also have low loan and lease rates. We also keep our incentives at low levels.
“We will try not to rely only on the subsidy program.”
Subaru company wants to sell 200,000 EVs globally a year from 2026, and said it will source batteries for the new vehicles through its alliance with partner Toyota.
Subaru said last year that it wants to derive 40 percent of its global sales from battery electrics and hybrids by 2030 and apply electrification to all models in the early 2030s.
Currently, the only electrified vehicles Subaru sells in the U.S. are the Solterra all-electric crossover co-developed with Toyota and the plug-in Crosstrek Hybrid.
The Solterra, a Subaru-badged version of the Toyota bZ4X, is currently assembled by Toyota.
Subaru will start in-house production of electric vehicles will be centered at its Gunma manufacturing complex north of Tokyo. It will begin around 2026 at Gunma’s Yajima plant on a mixed production line with internal combustion vehicles.
And from around 2027, it will turn out EVs from a dedicated line being planned for the Oizumi plant in Gunma, which currently makes engines and transmissions.
Subaru also plans a next-generation hybrid vehicle setup from around 2025.
Those upcoming hybrids will use Toyota’s hybrid system and be made at Subaru’s Gunma complex. The site manufactures the Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, BRZ, Legacy, Outback and Impreza, giving an idea of what nameplates might be in line for electrification.
Subaru detailed its EV roadmap while announcing a near tripling of operating profit in the fiscal year ended March 31, on increased production, higher sales and foreign exchange rate gains.
Operating profit soared to 267.5 billion yen ($2.02 billion) in the 12-month period ended March 31, from 90.5 billion yen ($682.5 million) the year before.
Net income also nearly tripled to 200.4 billion yen ($1.51 billion) for the full fiscal year, from 70.0 billion yen ($527.9 million) the year before.
Restored production firepower, as the company gradually recovered semiconductor shortages, from helped Subaru fill inventories and stoke sales.
Wholesale deliveries climbed 16 percent to 852,000 vehicles in the period.
Looking ahead, Subaru expects global wholesale volume to climb 19 percent to 1.01 million vehicles in the current fiscal year ending March 31 on better supply.
Operating profit is seen increasing 12 percent to 300.0 billion yen ($2.26 billion) in the current fiscal year. Net income is forecast to expand 4.8 percent to 210.0 billion yen ($1.58 billion).