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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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To determine the US parts content of virtually any car sold in the US, look at its Monroney (window) sticker. The Ascent is listed as:

For Vehicles in this Carline:
U.S./Canadian Parts Content: 50%
Major Sources of Foreign Parts Content: Japan 30%

For this vehicle:
Final Assembly Point: Lafayette, IN
Country of Origin
Engine: Japan
Transmission: Japan


I know of no car that is 100% US made. The closest come in at about 76%. For example, a typical car made by GM has a domestic content of only around 50% based upon this criteria: https://www.american.edu/kogod/research/autoindex/2018-autoindex.cfm#criteria.
This includes:
  1. Profit Margin - This was measured based on the location of an automaker’s headquarters. If an automaker’s global headquarters is located in the US, the model receives a 6. If it is not, it receives a 0. The assumption here is that (on average), 6% of a vehicle’s value is profit margin, so if it is a U.S. automaker, the profits remain in the country.
  2. Labor - This category considers where the car is assembled. If a model is assembled in the US, it receives a 6. If not, the model receives a 0. We assume that approximately 6% of the vehicle’s value is labor content.
  3. Research and Development (R&D) - This category looks at the location of a car’s R&D activities. If the model is a product of a US company, it receives a 6. If it is the product of a foreign company but is assembled in the U.S. it receives a 3; if it is a foreign import it receives a 1.
  4. Inventory, Capital and other expenses - If assembly occurs in the US, the model receives an 11; if not, it receives a 0.
  5. Engine - If the engine is produced in the US, the model receives a 14; if not it receives a 0.
  6. Transmission - If the transmission is produced in the US, the model receives a 7; if not it receives a 0.
  7. Body, Chassis, and Electrical Components
Subarus made in the US come in at around 45% using the above criteria.
 

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@ Robert Mauro is visiting the plant in August. Perhaps he can find out specifically what they do in the engine assembly area.

Based on this article the Japan plant is designated as the location of engine and tranny manufacturing. I would imagine all of the castings and machinings would be done in Japan and not at SIA. I would be surprise if the short-block assembly is being done at SIA, but I'm curious to know the specifics...
 

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@ Robert Mauro is visiting the plant in August. Perhaps he can find out specifically what they do in the engine assembly area.

Based on this article the Japan plant is designated as the location of engine and tranny manufacturing. I would imagine all of the castings and machinings would be done in Japan and not at SIA. I would be surprise if the short-block assembly is being done at SIA, but I'm curious to know the specifics...

There was a recent article where they noted the engine and transmission has full assembly in Japan other than accessories and such. Not sure if the turbo is mounted here or in Japan but that’s a simple one. Also the ac evaporator assembly’s are now made in Japan as they were getting screwed up by the people here (the oring fiasco). It’s all things Subaru is doing to get qc and returns to dealer for stupid shit under control. I’m sure once everything gets better here they will slowly bring things back but until than that seems to be the way it’s been done for a couple months.

Would be nice to hear from the tour how much they are still assembling tho.
 

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There was a recent article where they noted the engine and transmission has full assembly in Japan other than accessories and such. Not sure if the turbo is mounted here or in Japan but that’s a simple one. Also the ac evaporator assembly’s are now made in Japan as they were getting screwed up by the people here (the oring fiasco). It’s all things Subaru is doing to get qc and returns to dealer for stupid shit under control. I’m sure once everything gets better here they will slowly bring things back but until than that seems to be the way it’s been done for a couple months.

Would be nice to hear from the tour how much they are still assembling tho.
I believe that! From a QC perspective, at least the long-block (short-block w/ complete head + valve cover + oil pan) is assembled. The ancillary components (e.g. turbo, intake, exhaust, accessories, etc...) can be assembled here in the States. I bet that turbo was added here at SIA.

@Robert.Mauro : It would be cool to also know two things: 1. where was the tranny sourced from? 2. If the tranny sourced from Japan, did it comes with pre-filled CVT fluid?
 

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There was a recent article where they noted the engine and transmission has full assembly in Japan other than accessories and such. Not sure if the turbo is mounted here or in Japan but that’s a simple one. Also the ac evaporator assembly’s are now made in Japan as they were getting screwed up by the people here (the oring fiasco). It’s all things Subaru is doing to get qc and returns to dealer for stupid shit under control. I’m sure once everything gets better here they will slowly bring things back but until than that seems to be the way it’s been done for a couple months.

Would be nice to hear from the tour how much they are still assembling tho.
US built Subies are stamped from massive sheet metal rolls, and welded on premises. I am pretty sure that the short blocks get shipped here for some level of assembly (and have pics of various short blocks, which I am not at liberty to share), but, that was a couple of years ago.

I plan on asking all these questions and more in August. Keep passing me questions, everyone.... I am making a list.
 

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How many of the parts in the Ascent are actually U.S.- made parts?
I've read the 2.5 FB engine in the Legacy and Outback are actually made in Japan...wonder the Ascent's engine is also made there....

Having worked at a Acura dealer when almost all the vehicles switched from being produced in Japan to being made in America, the warranty claim rate went up by 35% across all the US produced models over the average to the Japanese produced models. That being said, this car is almost entirely sourced from Japan for the primary components, ie the engine and transmission and that is something that you should be thankful for because based on experience, they are better designed and produced than if they were made and designed in the USA/Canada. The factory in Indiana is considered a zero waste facility and thus its just finally assembly of procured parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quality control in Japan is still hard to beat. Given the choice i'd take one built entirely from there and it's my understanding most of the other markets have Subaru's delivered directly from there.
But isn't the Ascent just for the US market??
 

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Quality control in Japan is still hard to beat. Given the choice i'd take one built entirely from there and it's my understanding most of the other markets have Subaru's delivered directly from there.
But isn't the Ascent just for the US market??
The Ascent is currently only for the North American market (US & Canada).
 

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Quality control in Japan is still hard to beat. Given the choice i'd take one built entirely from there and it's my understanding most of the other markets have Subaru's delivered directly from there.
But isn't the Ascent just for the US market??

Exactly the reason we bought our 2010 Forester. It was 100% produced in Japan at the time. Those dudes will commit suicide if a bad engine comes back on them. I appreciate folks taking their job that seriously when building my car or components.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Exactly the reason we bought our 2010 Forester. It was 100% produced in Japan at the time. Those dudes will commit suicide if a bad engine comes back on them. I appreciate folks taking their job that seriously when building my car or components.
That's interesting. Wonder when they made the switch if you could have a bought a US built and Japan built unit within the same model year....
I know i would have paid more for the Japanese one and might even advertise that when i went to sell it.

This article highlights a few of reasons why they excel with automotive production and quality.

https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article...tion-lessons-from-the-japanese-auto-industry/
 

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Exactly the reason we bought our 2010 Forester. It was 100% produced in Japan at the time. Those dudes will commit suicide if a bad engine comes back on them. I appreciate folks taking their job that seriously when building my car or components.
lol .... there's a 0.0000001% truth to that nihilism. Based on many of the documentary I've seen over the years, I think they're laser focused because there isn't a lot of distinction of hopes outside of their job. It appears that many of them see spiritual meanings on everything they do (i.e. Shintoism).

Vast amount of people believe there's more to it than the engine (and transmission). No, absolutely not, if you truly believe that's the "heart" of the vehicle. So it's extremely important to select which components should be sourced from and not having to reinvent the wheels. Typically problems occur when you switch hands (e.g. assembling short-block to other components), transitioning from Japan to US process of operation. It's not that US Subaru can't make good cars, it's the complexity of US manufacturing operation being controlled remotely by a group of people located across the globe, Japan.
 

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lol .... there's a 0.0000001% truth to that nihilism. Based on many of the documentary I've seen over the years, I think they're laser focused because there isn't a lot of distinction of hopes outside of their job. It appears that many of them see spiritual meanings on everything they do (i.e. Shintoism).

Vast amount of people believe there's more to it than the engine (and transmission). No, absolutely not, if you truly believe that's the "heart" of the vehicle. So it's extremely important to select which components should be sourced from and not having to reinvent the wheels. Typically problems occur when you switch hands (e.g. assembling short-block to other components), transitioning from Japan to US process of operation. It's not that US Subaru can't make good cars, it's the complexity of US manufacturing operation being controlled remotely by a group of people located across the globe, Japan.
Yeah..... there is longer a practice in killing oneself over the disgrace of “dishonor” in the job. The culture of quality standards rules the day. I worked with a Japanese branch of an American computer manufacturer that would routinely take their firm’s American made/assembled computer product apart and reassemble to their standards before installing in their client’s sites. The reason complete engines are not shipped from Japan is the lower import tariff cost on sub components/parts versus completed assemblies and trade concessions that dictate a certain amount of a vehicle must be assembled in the U.S.

Remote management of anything complex is difficult at best...... SOA has difficulty in keeping their franchised retailers in line while selling their product and delivering quality service..... the various retailer experiences expressed here are testimony to that.

The Toyota Venza experiment is an example of a failed attempt to conceptualize, design and manufacture a vehicle solely for the North American market. Assembly design and process absolutely sucked. Component quality was inconsistent. A. Toyoda personally took over the engineering reins in California and summarily cancelled the Venza. Then of course, California encouraged Toyota to move its U.S. headquarters to Plano Texas. The result has been a return to Toyota’s global headquarters to call all the shots - domestically and globally.

I still believe the issues with the Ascent is a matter a product released prematurely to ward off competitive threats. All makes are up against market challenges and timing to markets pressures. Toyota released its new RAV4 with redesigned engine and transmission and the transmission is giving its customers fits.
 

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Exactly the reason we bought our 2010 Forester. It was 100% produced in Japan at the time. Those dudes will commit suicide if a bad engine comes back on them. I appreciate folks taking their job that seriously when building my car or components.
I have noticed a difference in QA with my 19 Forester vs my Ascent I had. The 17 Impreza I have was made in Indiana and it's been flawless . I have noticed a couple of fit issue with the dash and besides a HU patch its a solid build. For some reason the Ascent seems rushed to market although I think they had plenty of time to get it correct. Maybe 5 years? plus I think they cut cost in areas that are to visible
 

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I bought a new 2012 Hyundai Elantra Limited in sky blue because it was the only color made in Korea, not Alabama. The Alabama plant was new and I was concerned about QC. The car went 70K+ miles without any issues, and I got $8K toward the price of my 2019 Ascent!
 
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