Subaru closing parts center in Howard


Subaru of America will close its regional headquarters and parts-distribution center in the Howard County town of Savage as part of a company-wide cutback.

A total of 58 workers will be affected as the operation is consolidated into one in Atlanta by next May. Some workers will be offered transfers, but the precise number is unknown, said Fred Heiler, director of public relations for the automaker.

Company-wide, up to 10 percent of the 1,080-person payroll could be laid off as the company seeks to trim costs.

The Cherry Hill, N.J.-based company was purchased in August by Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan, which had previously built cars for Subaru and owned 49 percent of the company.

Fuji is trying to cut costs and increase profitability of its international operations, Heiler said. Subaru of America lost $130.1 million over the past three years.

The Savage operation, one of nine regional centers around the country, included 14,000 square feet of office space and a 51,000-square-foot parts warehouse and distribution center.

A similar center in West Palm Beach, Fla., also is being consolidated into the Atlanta office, which is to be headed by the current chief of the Savage operation, Henry Purcell.

Atlanta was selected for the consolidated office because of its location, Heiler said.

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