Subaru said in its latest financial release that it has no plan to build its electric cars in the US because it claims it can’t compete with McDonald’s $20-an-hour starting wage.

Since the reform of the federal tax credit for electric vehicles in the US was announced, many foreign automakers have made announcements of their plans to invest in EV production in the country. The new federal tax credit includes a protectionist clause that forces automakers to produce EVs in North America to get access to the $7,500 incentive.

The incentive is significant enough that in some lower-end segments, it will be hard to compete without it.

However, it is not enough to convince Subaru to invest in electric vehicle production in North America. In comments about it during the company’s latest financial results release, CEO Tomomi Nakamura said that Subaru is currently not considering building an electric car plant in the US because it can’t compete with McDonald’s wages (via Auto News): "In Indiana, part-time workers at McDonald’s earn $20 to $25 per hour, which is in competition with what temporary workers make at our plant. If we were to build a new plant, it would be very difficult to hire new people for that. Labor costs are rising now. It is quite challenging for us to secure workers for our Indiana plant, including those of suppliers."

Subaru currently operates a vehicle assembly plant in Indiana, where it employs about 6,000 workers to produce the Ascent, Impreza, Legacy, and Outback models. Subaru currently produces and sells its only EV at the point in time, the Subaru Solterra. 

 

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