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Where is the Subaru Crosstrek Made?

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The Subaru Crosstrek is a popular compact SUV known for its rugged capability and all-wheel drive performance. With the introduction of the redesigned 2024 model, Crosstrek production is now split between Subaru factories in Japan and the United States for the Canadian market.


For Canadian buyers, it’s important to understand where your specific Crosstrek model is manufactured. The location differs depending on the trim level, with some trims being produced in Japan while others roll off the assembly line in the USA.

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A Popular Compact SUV from Subaru

The Subaru Crosstrek has become a beloved and sought-after compact SUV among Canadian drivers. Its rugged design, impressive capability, and standard all-wheel drive system have made it a standout choice for those seeking adventure and versatility on the road.

Since its introduction in 2012, the Crosstrek has carved out a unique niche in the market, blending the practicality of a hatchback with the go-anywhere attitude of an SUV. Its raised ground clearance, durable body cladding, and Subaru’s renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system allow it to tackle a variety of terrain and weather conditions with confidence.

But the Crosstrek isn’t just about off-road prowess. Its compact size and nimble handling make it a joy to drive in urban environments, while its spacious interior and ample cargo space cater to the needs of active lifestyles. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend camping trip or navigating the daily commute, the Crosstrek is a versatile companion.

As Canadians continue to embrace the outdoor lifestyle and seek vehicles that can keep up with their adventures, the Subaru Crosstrek has emerged as a popular choice. Its reputation for reliability, safety, and capability has earned it a loyal following, and with the recent redesign for the 2024 model year, the Crosstrek is poised to continue its success in the Canadian market.

 

2024 Crosstrek Production Changes

The 2024 model year marks a significant shift in Subaru’s manufacturing strategy for the popular Crosstrek compact SUV. For the first time, certain trim levels will be produced in the United States alongside Subaru’s existing Japanese production line.

This strategic move aims to meet growing North American demand for the rugged and capable Crosstrek while optimizing Subaru’s global manufacturing footprint. The decision to split production between Japan and the United States represents a milestone for the Crosstrek nameplate and Subaru’s commitment to serving its customers worldwide.

Specifically, the 2024 Crosstrek lineup will see a division in manufacturing locations based on trim level and engine choice. The Base and Premium trims, equipped with the 2.0-liter Boxer engine, will continue to be built at Subaru’s long-standing Gunma factory in Japan. However, the Sport, Limited, and Wilderness models, featuring the more powerful 2.5-liter Boxer engine, will now be assembled at Subaru’s production facility in Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

 

Base and Premium Trims Still Japan-Built

While the 2024 Crosstrek lineup sees a significant manufacturing shift, Subaru’s long-standing tradition of Japanese craftsmanship remains intact for the base and premium trim levels. These entry-level models, powered by the proven 2.0-liter Boxer engine, will continue to roll off the assembly line at Subaru’s esteemed Gunma factory in Japan.

Established in 1972, the Gunma plant has been at the heart of Subaru’s manufacturing operations, producing a wide range of vehicles destined for both domestic and international markets. With decades of experience in building Subaru’s iconic all-wheel-drive vehicles, the skilled workforce at Gunma ensures that every Crosstrek Base and Premium model meets the brand’s exacting standards for quality, reliability, and performance.

This strategic decision to maintain Japanese production for the base and premium Crosstreks underscores Subaru’s commitment to preserving the essence of its engineering heritage. The Gunma facility, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and adhering to stringent quality control measures, guarantees that these models embody the core values that have made Subaru a trusted name in the automotive industry.

For Canadian customers seeking the quintessential Subaru driving experience, the base and premium 2024 Crosstreks manufactured in Gunma offer a seamless blend of Japanese craftsmanship and modern engineering. Whether navigating city streets or venturing off the beaten path, these Japan-built models promise the exceptional build quality, reliability, and capability that Subaru is renowned for worldwide.

 

Subaru’s Gunma, Japan Factory

Subaru’s primary manufacturing facility in Japan is located in Gunma Prefecture, about 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. The Gunma Main Plant has been in operation since 1972 and currently employs over 6,000 workers.

This massive factory complex spans over 5 million square feet and houses stamping, engine production, assembly, and other operations under one roof. It’s here where Subaru crafts vehicles with its legendary boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel drive systems.

In addition to being the birthplace of the Crosstrek Base and Premium models for Canada, the Gunma plant also manufactures other Subaru models like the Impreza, WRX/STI, BRZ, and Forester. With state-of-the-art robotics and automation, the facility can produce around 650,000 vehicles annually at maximum capacity.

Subaru is deeply committed to sustainable manufacturing practices at Gunma. The plant has zero landfill waste, with all byproducts being recycled or repurposed. Renewable energy sources like solar power help reduce its environmental footprint. Careful water management and green landscaping are other eco-friendly initiatives.

The Gunma factory embodies Subaru’s philosophy of quality craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Highly trained workers on the line ensure each vehicle meets stringent standards before global distribution. Canadian customers can take pride that their Base or Premium Crosstrek originated from this world-class Japanese manufacturing facility.

 

New U.S. Production for Sport/Limited/Wilderness

Marking a significant shift, the 2024 Crosstrek Sport, Limited, and Wilderness models equipped with the larger 2.5L engine will now be manufactured at Subaru’s plant in Lafayette, Indiana for the first time. This includes versions destined for both the American and Canadian markets.

The Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) plant has been in operation since 1989, producing over 6 million Subaru vehicles to date. Up until now, it has exclusively built larger models like the Ascent SUV, Legacy sedan, and Outback wagon. Adding Crosstrek production allows Subaru to meet increasing demand for the popular compact SUV in North America.

For Canadian consumers, this means the higher-trim 2024 Crosstreks with the potent 182 horsepower 2.5L Boxer engine will be American-made for the first time. The Sport, Limited, and rugged Wilderness off-road trim will all roll off the Indiana assembly line bound for dealerships across Canada.

This strategic production split allows Subaru to dedicate more capacity at its Japanese factories to build other models while utilizing the SIA plant’s output for a high-volume seller like the Crosstrek. It remains to be seen if there will be any tangible differences between the Japan and U.S.-built versions when it comes to quality or small regional distinctions.

 

Subaru of Indiana Automotive Plant

The Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) plant in Lafayette, Indiana has played a pivotal role in the brand’s North American manufacturing operations since its establishment in 1989. This state-of-the-art facility, spanning over 4.7 million square feet, has become a cornerstone of Subaru’s commitment to serving the U.S. and Canadian markets.

With a rich history spanning more than three decades, the SIA plant has produced over 6 million Subaru vehicles to date. Initially focused on the Legacy and Outback models, the plant’s production capabilities have expanded to include the Ascent and, most recently, the 2024 Crosstrek Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims.

Subaru’s decision to manufacture the 2.5-liter Crosstrek variants in Indiana signifies a strategic move to meet the growing demand for the popular compact SUV in North America. By leveraging the expertise and resources of the SIA plant, Subaru aims to enhance production efficiency and ensure a steady supply of these sought-after models for customers across the United States and Canada.

The SIA plant is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Operating as a zero-landfill facility, the plant employs various eco-friendly practices, including recycling, waste reduction, and energy-efficient manufacturing processes. This aligns with Subaru’s overall philosophy of minimizing its environmental footprint while delivering high-quality vehicles.

With a workforce of over 5,800 dedicated employees, the SIA plant has become an integral part of the local community in Lafayette. Subaru’s investment in this facility not only contributes to the regional economy but also serves as a testament to the brand’s long-term commitment to manufacturing excellence in North America.

 

Strategic Production Split for Canada

The decision to split Crosstrek production between Japan and the United States was a strategic move by Subaru to better serve the Canadian market. By manufacturing the Base and Premium trims in Japan while building the Sport, Limited, and Wilderness models in Indiana, Subaru aims to optimize its supply chain and meet the growing demand for the Crosstrek in Canada more efficiently.

One key factor driving this production split is the need to address currency fluctuations between the Japanese yen and the US dollar. By producing certain Crosstrek models in the United States, Subaru can mitigate the impact of currency exchange rates on pricing and profitability for vehicles destined for the North American market, including Canada.

Additionally, the proximity of the Indiana plant to Canada allows for faster delivery times and reduced transportation costs for the Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims. This not only benefits Canadian customers with quicker access to these popular models but also supports Subaru’s efforts to streamline its logistics and reduce its overall carbon footprint.

Moreover, by leveraging its manufacturing capabilities in both Japan and the United States, Subaru can better balance production volumes and allocate resources more efficiently. This flexibility enables the company to respond more effectively to fluctuations in demand and market conditions, ensuring a steadier supply of Crosstreks for Canadian consumers.

Overall, the strategic decision to split Crosstrek production between Japan and the United States demonstrates Subaru’s commitment to meeting the needs of the Canadian market while optimizing its global manufacturing operations. This approach not only enhances the availability and delivery of the popular Crosstrek but also positions Subaru for long-term success in the competitive Canadian automotive landscape.

 

Previous Crosstrek Models – All Japan-Built

For context on the 2024 production shift, it’s worth noting that all previous Subaru Crosstrek models from the nameplate’s 2013 introduction through the 2023 model year were manufactured solely at Subaru’s main assembly plant in Gunma, Japan. This was true regardless of trim level or engine option.

The Gunma factory has been the exclusive global production source for the Crosstrek since its debut over a decade ago. Every Base, Premium, Sport, Limited and other trim was built at this Japanese facility for worldwide distribution, including to the Canadian market.

So for Canadian Crosstrek buyers and owners from 2013-2023, their vehicles all originated from the same Subaru manufacturing plant in Japan. The 2024 model year marks the first time a portion of Crosstrek production has been split off to a separate factory location.

 

Differences between Japan and US-Built Crosstreks?

With the 2024 Crosstrek now being manufactured in both Japan and the United States, some buyers may wonder if there are any notable differences between the Japanese and American-built models. While Subaru holds its global production to the same stringent quality standards, there are a few potential variations to consider.

Materials and Components: Subaru sources many components globally, but some localized parts could vary slightly between factories. For instance, certain interior trim pieces or electrical components may come from different suppliers based on proximity to each plant. However, core mechanical components like the engine and transmission should be identical across factories.

Assembly Process: Although following the same manufacturing guidelines, the human workforce and specific processes at each plant can introduce minor variances. Subaru’s Japanese workers are renowned for their meticulous craftsmanship, while the Indiana facility benefits from advanced automation. Both approaches prioritize quality, but small assembly nuances may exist.

Cultural Influences: Japan’s manufacturing culture is rooted in philosophies like “kaizen” (continuous improvement) and an uncompromising pursuit of perfection. The Indiana plant aims to emulate these values, but cultural differences could manifest in areas like attention to detail or specific quality checkpoints during assembly.

In reality, any distinctions are likely to be quite subtle. Subaru’s vertically integrated production system and rigorous quality control should ensure a highly consistent product regardless of origin. Unless you’re a die-hard brand enthusiast scrutinizing every minute detail, the average Crosstrek buyer is unlikely to notice significant variances between Japan and US-built models.

 

Subaru’s Approach to Manufacturing

Subaru takes great pride in their manufacturing processes, upholding stringent standards of quality and craftsmanship across all their vehicle production facilities. The company’s philosophy emphasizes meticulous attention to detail, precision engineering, and a commitment to sustainability.

At the heart of Subaru’s manufacturing approach is the concept of “monozukuri,” a Japanese term that encapsulates the art of making things with a dedication to excellence. This philosophy permeates every aspect of the production process, from the selection of high-quality materials to the rigorous quality control measures implemented at every stage.

Subaru’s factories, both in Japan and the United States, adhere to strict environmental regulations and operate as zero-landfill facilities. The company has implemented various eco-friendly initiatives, such as recycling programs, water conservation efforts, and the use of renewable energy sources, to minimize their environmental impact.

Quality control is of paramount importance to Subaru, and each vehicle undergoes a comprehensive series of inspections and tests before leaving the assembly line. Highly skilled technicians meticulously examine every component, ensuring that each Subaru meets the brand’s exacting standards for performance, safety, and reliability.

Furthermore, Subaru’s manufacturing facilities are designed to foster a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging employees to identify and implement process enhancements that can further elevate the quality and efficiency of their operations. This commitment to innovation and excellence has earned Subaru a reputation for producing vehicles that are not only capable and reliable but also built to last.

 

Vehicle Content Rules for Canadians

For Canadian consumers, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations surrounding domestic versus imported vehicle content. The Canadian government has specific policies in place to promote the domestic automotive industry and encourage the use of North American-made parts and vehicles.

Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which replaced NAFTA in 2020, vehicles must meet certain regional value content (RVC) requirements to qualify for duty-free treatment. The RVC threshold is set at 75% for passenger vehicles, meaning at least 75% of the vehicle’s content must originate from North America (Canada, the United States, or Mexico).

Automakers like Subaru, who have manufacturing operations in both Japan and North America, must carefully track the origin of their components and assemblies to ensure compliance with these rules. Vehicles that fail to meet the RVC requirements may be subject to tariffs or other import duties, which can increase the final cost for consumers.

For the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, the Base and Premium trims built in Japan may have a lower North American content percentage compared to the Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trims assembled in Indiana. However, Subaru likely optimizes its supply chain and sourcing to meet the CUSMA requirements for all Canadian-bound models, regardless of the final assembly location.

Consumers can check the vehicle’s Monroney label (window sticker) or contact the manufacturer for specific details on the domestic and imported content breakdown for their particular model and trim level. Understanding these regulations helps ensure you’re making an informed purchasing decision that aligns with your preferences and supports the desired level of domestic content.

 

Automotive Manufacturing in North America

North America has long been a major hub for automotive manufacturing, with the United States, Canada, and Mexico serving as key players in the industry. These countries have established robust production facilities, a skilled workforce, and strong supply chains to support the assembly of vehicles for both domestic and global markets.

The United States has historically been a powerhouse in automotive manufacturing, with major automakers such as General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) operating numerous assembly plants across the country. States like Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee are home to some of the largest and most advanced automotive production facilities in the world.

Canada, while not as large as its southern neighbor in terms of overall production volume, has a significant presence in the automotive industry. Ontario, in particular, is a major center for vehicle assembly, with plants operated by companies like Toyota, Honda, and Ford. The province’s skilled workforce and proximity to the United States market have made it an attractive location for automakers to establish manufacturing operations.

Mexico has also emerged as a key player in the North American automotive industry, with several major automakers setting up production facilities in the country. The availability of skilled labor and competitive manufacturing costs have drawn companies like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Mazda to establish assembly plants in Mexico, primarily serving the North American and Latin American markets.

The integration of the North American automotive industry has been facilitated by trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its successor, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). These agreements have helped to streamline cross-border trade and encourage the establishment of regional supply chains, allowing automakers to source components and materials from various locations across the continent.

 

Checking Your Crosstrek’s Origin

For Canadian buyers keen to know whether their 2024 Subaru Crosstrek was manufactured in Japan or the United States, there are a few ways to determine its origin. The simplest method is to check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) located on the compliance label affixed to the driver’s side door jamb.

Crosstreks built in Japan will have a VIN starting with “J” followed by the plant code “F7.” Those assembled at Subaru’s Indiana plant will begin with “4S” indicating their U.S. origin. So a Japan-made Crosstrek might read “JF7xxxxx” while an American model could be “4S3xxxxx.”

Another clue can come from examining the driver’s side window sticker, which lists manufacturing details. For Crosstreks imported from Japan, this sticker will explicitly state “Made in Japan.” Meanwhile, U.S.-built models should be marked “Made in U.S.A” with the Indiana factory location.

Canadian Crosstrek buyers can also try checking the first three digits of the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS) of the VIN, corresponding to the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). Subaru vehicles made in Japan use WMI codes like JF1 or JF2, whereas the Indiana plant uses 4S3 or 4S4.

If the paperwork isn’t handy, a quick visual inspection under the hood may reveal clues too. Engine bays on Japanese Crosstreks often feature colored engine covers and plastic shrouds, whereas U.S. models tend to have more exposed engine components.

For the most accurate information on a specific vehicle, Canadians can contact Subaru’s customer service line with the VIN handy. Representatives can definitively confirm the manufacturing location based on internal production records.

 

Conclusion: Where Will Your Crosstrek Come From?

For Canadian buyers of the redesigned 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, the origin of your vehicle will depend on which trim level you choose. Subaru has strategically split Crosstrek production between their factories in Japan and the United States.

If you opt for the Base or Premium trim with the 2.0L engine, your Crosstrek will be manufactured at Subaru’s long-standing Gunma plant in Japan, just as previous model years were. These Japanese-built models will be shipped over to Canada.

However, if you spring for the more powerful and capable Sport, Limited, or Wilderness trims with the upgraded 2.5L engine, your Crosstrek will roll off the assembly line at Subaru’s factory in Lafayette, Indiana. The Indiana plant is the sole producer of these higher trim levels for the North American market, including Canadian customers.

So in summary – Base and Premium Crosstreks for Canada continue being imported from Japan, while Sport, Limited, and Wilderness versions are now American-made at the Indiana facility. Knowing your Crosstrek’s manufacturing origin may influence your buying decision if you have a preference between Japanese or U.S. assembly.

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Questions About Where the Subaru Crosstrek is Made?

The Subaru Crosstrek sold in Canada is manufactured in two locations. The Base, Convenience, Touring, Onyx, and Limited trims are built at Subaru’s Gunma manufacturing plant in Japan. The Wilderness trim is built at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) plant in Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

Subaru decided to build the more rugged and off-road focused Wilderness trim in their Indiana plant alongside vehicles like the Outback. The Indiana plant has more experience building larger vehicles suited for rougher conditions. Meanwhile, the Gunma, Japan plant has specialized in efficient small car production for decades.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA) opened in 1989 as a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu. The plant originally produced the Isuzu Rodeo and Honda Passport SUVs. Subaru became the sole owner in 2016 and now makes Ascent, Legacy, Outback models there along with the Crosstrek Wilderness.

Approximately 80% of the Crosstreks sold in Canada are built at Subaru’s Gunma, Japan plant. The remaining 20% are the more rugged Wilderness models built in Indiana, USA. So most Canadian Crosstreks come directly from Japan.

For the most part there will be no noticeable differences. The mechanical components and interiors will be virtually identical since they share common Subaru Global Platform architecture. Country of manufacture does not affect reliability or lifespan.

Yes, there will be manufacturing labels affixed inside the driver’s door jam and trunk areas. These labels display the vehicle’s VIN along with the specific Subaru plant it was built at, either Gunma, Japan or Lafayette, Indiana USA.

Yes, the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) differ between countries of manufacture. The 10th VIN digit will be a “J” for Crosstreks built in Japan. A “4” indicates it was built in the Indiana plant. This digit tells you the country without needing the label.

No major differences. Subaru implements the same strict manufacturing standards, quality control measures, and testing procedures at both locations. Crosstreks have proven very reliable with average to above average resale values regardless of origin.

No, as an owner you should not notice any difference in dealership service procedures or maintenance requirements between models. All use genuine Subaru parts sourced from the same suppliers around the world. Your warranty and scheduled intervals will be identical.

For Canada, only the Wilderness trim is exclusive to the Indiana plant. The Base, Convenience, Touring, Onyx, and Limited models are solely built at Subaru’s Gunma facility in Japan then exported globally. Subaru produces the Wilderness in Indiana due to production capacity and experience with larger vehicles.

The only way to choose is by selecting the Wilderness trim, which guarantees it was built in the Indiana plant. Otherwise trims like Convenience and Limited leave it to chance whether yours originates from Japan or the US since Subaru allocates production dynamically. Dealers cannot specify country of manufacture.

Not necessarily – paint work occurs after the main assembly process so all colors have equal chance of coming from either country. Subaru allocates orders dynamically depending on production loads. Best method is checking the 10th VIN digit rather than relying on exterior color predictions.

Building cars globally hedges against currency fluctuations, reduces shipping costs/times for local markets, and avoids import duties. It also gives Subaru flexibility to adjust production volumes between plants as market demand shifts. Producing locally shows commitment to the North American and Japanese markets.

Approximately 65% of Subarus sold in the Canadian market are built in Japan. The remaining 35% originate from Subaru of Indiana plant. So Japan still produces the majority but local US manufacturing provides inventory for in-demand models like Outback, Legacy, Ascent.

Very minimally. Main difference is that the Wilderness trim is currently only built in the USA. Otherwise equipment, accessories, drivetrain options are standardized globally by Subaru across all plants. Manufacturing country will not limit or change what is available to Canadian buyers.

No pricing distinction from Subaru Canada. However, Japan-built vehicles may carry marginally higher dealer inventory costs due to longer transit and import fees. This rarely translates into a price premium for buyers however. Dealers absorb the small differential in their market pricing strategy.

Combined, Subaru’s Japanese plants can produce approximately 1.5 million vehicles per year. Meanwhile the Indiana plant has maximum yearly capacity around 400,000 units. So Japan can build about 4x the volume. This allows them to manufacture the majority of Crosstreks and other global models locally.

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