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Where Are Subaru Forresters Made?

Where Are Subaru Forresters Made?

Known to be some of the most reliable vehicles on the road today, Subaru Forresters are popular throughout the world. However, this does not necessarily mean they are manufactured at production plants located on various continents. If you’re wondering where the Subaru Forrester you own or are thinking of buying was manufactured, I’ve got the answers for you!

The Subaru Forrester is exclusively made at Subaru’s Yajima Plant in Ota, Gunma, Japan. Manufactured units are then shipped to various markets around the world based on consumer demand.

With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at where the Subaru Forrester is made and how this fantastic vehicle makes its way around the world!

Subaru Forrester Manufacturing Locations

Despite its worldwide popularity, you may be surprised to learn that the Subaru Forrester is not manufactured worldwide. In fact, the Subaru Forrester is made only in Ota, Gunma, Japan at Subaru’s Yajima Plant. Although Subaru does have many production plants in Gunma, the Yajima Plant is the only one where the Forrester is produced.

Once the Forrester is manufactured in Yajima, it is shipped to various markets worldwide based on consumer demand. Yet, not all Forresters shipped around the world are exactly alike. 

Since local regulations vary from market to market, Forresters will have slight variations to meet the regulations in place at their destination.

When it comes to Forrester models that are produced for shipment to other world markets such as Australia, the UK, and Canada, all of the Forresters made for these international markets are produced at the Yajima Plant, then shipped out to these areas just as they are to the United States.

If you are curious as to just how much Subaru sales of the Forrester and other models have grown in recent years, consider this. In 2012, Subaru was ranked as the 22nd-largest automaker in terms of its global production. 

However, by 2020 it had risen to be considered one of the top car brands worldwide in terms of production and sales!

Is the Subaru Forrester Made in America?

No, the Subaru Forrester is not made at an assembly plant in America. Though very popular with American drivers, the Subaru Forrester is made only at the Subaru assembly plant in Yajima, Japan.

First introduced to the U.S. market in 1997, the Subaru Forrester has been a popular SUV from the moment it arrived from overseas and is today one of the highest-selling SUVs on the market. Interestingly enough, the Forrester regularly outsells the Subaru Outback, which ironically is made in America!

Each year in the U.S., more than 175,000 Subaru Forresters are purchased by car buyers. The Yajima Plant where the Forresters are produced has been in constant operation since 1969, employs close to 3,500 workers, and is one of the largest assembly plants in all of Japan.

Due to its popularity, Subaru offers consumers more than one model of the Forrester, those being the Forrester Premium and Forrester Sport. Offering more creature-comfort features, these models still sport affordable price tags, with most retailing for about $25,000. 

Combining reasonable pricing by today’s standards with proven reliability and performance, more and more car buyers looking to purchase either new or used Subaru Forresters and other models.

How to Check Where Your Subaru Forrester was Made

When doing research on which type of vehicle to purchase, more and more car buyers now want to know where the vehicle they are interested in was manufactured. 

While initially, you may think this is next to impossible, it’s actually much easier than you might imagine!

To check where your Subaru Forrester was made, you can look at the vehicle’s VIN number. The VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, is a number unique to a specific vehicle. Consisting of numbers and letters, the VIN is broken down into various sections.

When examining the first three digits of the VIN, these will indicate the country of origin, the type of car, and its make. For the Forrester, the first digit is always “J” for Japan, while the second digit is always “S” for Forrester. 

Also, look to the eleventh digit of the Forrester VIN, since this will indicate the assembly plant. For the Forrester, the letter “G” will be displayed to indicate it was manufactured at the Yajima Plant.

What Other Subaru Models are Made in the USA?

Even though the extremely popular Forrester is not made in the USA, there are many other Subaru models that are manufactured at US-based assembly plants. 

As mentioned earlier, one of these is the Subaru Outback. Similar to the Forrester in many ways, its yearly sales are almost the same as the Forrester, though they tend to be slightly lower.

Other Subaru models manufactured in the U.S. include the Ascent, Impreza, and the Legacy. Each of these is assembled at the Subaru manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana, which is known as Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., or SIA.

This plant, which opened for business in 1987, was originally named Subaru-Isuzu Automotive. However, later on, Subaru rebranded itself as Subaru of America, Inc., thus prompting the name change at the assembly plant.

In 2019, the Lafayette, IN plant marked a major milestone in terms of production. In April 2019, a Subaru Outback SUV rolled off the assembly line, giving the plant its four millionth vehicle produced.

With business being so good for Subaru and its Indiana plant, there has been talk of expansion plans and a $400 million investment by the company to upgrade the plant. If this comes to fruition, it is expected this could create up to 900 new jobs.

Which Subaru Are Made in Japan?

Since virtually all types of Subaru vehicles are very popular around the world, production of the various models is divided up between assembly plants in Japan and those in the United States.

In Japan, the Subaru models being assembled at plants in Yajima and Gunma include the Subaru BRZ, Forrester, Impreza, XV Crosstrek, and the WRX. In addition, the very popular Outback is produced at both Japanese and American assembly plants to keep up with worldwide demand.

However, it is important to remember that while the Subaru Legacy and Outback are produced in the Yajima Plant, the ones assembled in Japan do not get shipped overseas to U.S. markets. Instead, these vehicles are reserved only for global sales.

Which Subaru Model is Most Reliable?

Though all Subaru models are known for being reliable and durable, some have stood out as being exceptional in these areas. Along with the Forrester, consumers also prefer the Subaru Crosstrek for a variety of reasons. 

Thought of as an SUV that doesn’t come with the usual bulk of an SUV, the Crosstrek is viewed by consumers as having off-road capabilities while still giving them plenty of cargo space and room for more than a few passengers.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

If there is one feature on a Subaru Forrester and other Subaru models that consumers really like, it is the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. Found on all Subaru makes and models, this feature is unique to Subaru vehicles like the Forrester. 

As to how it’s different from standard AWD found on many of today’s vehicles, it has to do with Subaru’s Boxer engine, which allows for the same amount of power for all wheels.

In addition, the AWD compliments the low center of gravity found on the Forrester and other Subaru vehicles and works together with balanced drive shafts to prevent torque steer.

With a proven track record of success on the road, the Subaru Forrester continues to gain in popularity each year with car buyers.

Whether you select a Forrester or other type of Subaru, chances are you will own a vehicle that will give you reliable driving for years to come, helping you avoid those costly visits to your neighborhood auto mechanic.

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!