Where Are Subaru Foresters Made? (Solved & Explained)

The Subaru Forester first went on sale in the US in 1997 and to this day is one of the highest selling SUVs on the market.

Known for its go-everywhere capability, roomy interior and 5 star safety rating, the Forester is as good in the city as it is on country roads.

If you’re considering purchasing one, you might be wondering where they’re being made as part of your pre-purchase research.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at where Subaru Foresters are being made.

Where Are Subaru Foresters Made?

Subaru Foresters have always been made in Ota, Gunma, Japan at Subarus Gunma Yajima Plant. Subaru maintains several assembly plants in Gunma, however only the Yajima Plant produces the Subaru Forester. This is the only place in the world where Foresters are being built.

The Forester is only produced at the Yajimi Plant. Each year, new models are shipped to every major market in the world.

Each model will exhibit slight variations depending on where its being shipped to, to meet local regulations.

Are Subaru Foresters for the U.S. Market Produced in the U.S.?

Every Subaru Forester sold in the U.S. and the rest of the world, is produced at the Yajimi Plant, in Gunma, Japan. Subaru Foresters sold in the U.S. are not made in the United States.

The 550.000 square-meter Yajimi Plant has more than 3,000 employees and has been in continual operation since 1969.

Interestingly, Subaru Foresters that are sold in the U.S. market often overtake the U.S.-made Outback in terms of sales and popularity.

Yearly sales of the of the Forester in the U.S. consistently range from approximately 170,000 – 180,000. Sales for the American-made Outback are slightly lower.

Unlike the Forester, the Subaru Outback and the Subaru Legacy that are produced at the Yajimi Plant do not ship to the U.S. market. Instead, the Japanese versions of those models are reserved for global sales.

Are They Being Assembled in the U.S.?

All of the Subaru Foresters in production today are assembled at the Yajimi Plant, in Gunma, Japan.

There are other Subaru models being produced in the U.S., however.

The Subaru manufacturing plant in the U.S. is in Lafayette, Indiana, and goes by the name Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA).

The name is a rebranding that took place when Subaru of America, Inc. was established. When opened in 1987, the original name of the plant in Lafayette was Subaru-Isuzu Automotive (SIA).

The Subaru models produced at SIA are the Outback, Ascent, Legacy, and Impreza.

Please also see our articles: how long do Subaru Forester last and Subaru Forester in snow and winter driving

How Can You Check Where a Specific Subaru Forester Was Produced?

Since there is only one assembly plant in the world that produces the Forester, there is only one answer.

All of the Subaru Foresters are produced at the Yajimi Plant, in Gunma, Japan.

If you want further re-assurance, you can always check your vehicles VIN number.

  • Each vehicle produced has a unique identifier that comes in the form of a series of numbers and letters.
  • The VIN is broken into sections – each showing a different aspect of the vehicle’s identity.
  • The first three digits indicate the country of origin, type of car and the make. In the Foresters case, the first digit will always be “J” for Japan. The second will be “S” for Forester.  
  • The eleventh digit is also important in figuring out where a car is made as it shows the assembly plant. Subaru often uses “G” to signify Yajimi Plant.

Are Japanese or European Built Foresters Better?

The answer to whether Japanese or European built Foresters are better is an easy one.

Since Foresters are only built in Japan, there is actually no competition to speak of.

It is interesting to note the high-quality standards that Subaru adheres to for cars manufactured for their own domestic market and those abroad.

While many other automobile manufacturers maintain assembly plants in various regions around the world, Subaru makes and then distributes all of their Foresters from the same plant.

This means that the global market enjoys the same high-quality experience that Subaru’s domestic following has grown used to.

Please also read our article: 11 Subaru Forester facts and statistics

Where Is the Subaru Forester Designed?

As the Subaru Forester is manufactured solely in Japan, it is safe to assume that the design of the vehicle also takes place there.

It is likely however, that the Japanese design teams collaborate with their colleagues based at the Subaru of America’s HQ in Camden, NJ.

Where Are Subaru Foresters made for the Australian Market?

Subaru Foresters intended for the Australian market are made at the manufacturing plant in Gunma, Japan.

Forester trims available for the Australian market include:

  • Subaru Forester Hybrid S AWD
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i-S AWD
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i Sport AWD
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium AWD
  • Subaru Forester Hybrid L AWD
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i-L AWD
  • Subaru Forester 2.5i AWD

Where Are Subaru Foresters Made for the Canadian Market?

As with Subaru Foresters made for all other markets, the Forester made for buyers in Canada will be made in Ota, Gunma, Japan at Subarus Gunma Yajima Plant

Foresters produced for the Canadian market include:

  • Forester
  • Convenience
  • Touring
  • Sport
  • Limited
  • Premier

Related: Subaru Forester Beeping? (12 Causes & Solutions)

Where Are Subaru Foresters Made for the U.K Market?

Subaru Foresters made for the U.K. market are produced in the Gunma Yajima plant, as are Foresters produced for all other markets around the world.

One big difference when it comes to the U.K. market is that there is less demand for Subaru vehicles when compared to other parts of the world.

That said, the Subaru Forester e-Boxer is readily available in the U.K. and it is a solid choice from the popular automobile manufacturer.

Is Subaru Planning to Move Its Production?

At this time, Subaru is not planning to move its production locations. In fact, it does not seem likely that production will move anytime soon.

The assembly plants in operation in both Japan and the United States, are very well-established and have been producing high-quality vehicles for many years.

In 2021, they were forced to pause production briefly due to chip shortages and other supply chain-related problems.

However, the company seems adamant that it will remain on track for many years to come, despite any difficulties and faces.

Is Subaru Hiring or Firing in the U.S.?

Subaru is often hiring in the U.S. the assembly plant located in Lafayette, Indiana sets the bar very high when it comes to employment opportunities and the overall employment package.

Apart from the assembly plant, there are many official Subaru distributors and sales points across the country which also provide employment opportunities of varying types.

For more information about jobs at Subaru, you may visit their careers page or check sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed.com, and Glassdoor.

You may also be interested in our article: are SUVs hard to drive?

Is Subaru an American Company?

Subaru is widely known as a Japanese company. However, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is an American subsidiary of the Subaru Corporation.




  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...