- Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2014

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Subaru is moving ahead with its plans for spending more than $400 million to prepare its Lafayette factory for production of a new vehicle while significantly scaling back the expectations for additional jobs.

The Lafayette Redevelopment Commission voted Thursday to support a 10-year property tax abatement request from Subaru that includes $353 million in new manufacturing equipment and $68 million in real estate improvements, the Journal & Courier reported (http://on.jconline.com/1knhzTu ).

Subaru is projecting the investment will add 50 full-time jobs at the factory, but that’s down from the 900 new jobs expected when the company announced the project last year.

The scale-back follows Toyota’s decision in November to pull its Camry production line from the Subaru factory after the contract between the companies ends in 2016.

Subaru executives said then that they didn’t expect layoffs from among the factory’s 3,600 workers because of the Toyota move, although they believed future hiring could be slowed.

Lafayette City Council President Steve Meyer said the deal with Subaru would require it to pay full property taxes on the new equipment if any of it is removed before the 10-year period ends.

“They have been a good asset, and it is good to see they are willing to invest even more in our community,” Meyer said.

The City Council is scheduled to consider final approval of the tax-break request on Monday.

Subaru plans to start building the Impreza small car at the factory in 2016. The Lafayette factory, which opened in 1989, already builds Subaru’s Legacy and Outback cars and the Tribeca SUV.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com