Subaru Can't Compete With McDonald's Wages, Really
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Subaru Can’t Compete With McDonald’s

Subaru struggles to compete with McDonald's on wages as automaker shies away from U.S. EV investments

It sounds like a headline ripped straight out of the Onion, but it’s true: Subaru says it just can’t compete with McDonald’s wages.

Fresh off the embarrassment of having the wheels literally fall off its first-ever all-electric vehicle, Subaru now says that it’s struggling to compete with McDonald’s on wages, with the automaker saying that “soaring” US labor costs have caused the brand to buck industry trends and halt new investments in North American manufacturing.

“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,” says Subaru CEO, Tomomi Nakamura. “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.”

In addition to being something of a bizarre admission from the head of a major automaker, Nakamura’s information is patently false, with most McDonald’s workers in the state making less than half of what the CEO is claiming.

It’s doubly bizarre, too, considering the company has posted decades of growth in the US market, along with the billions of dollars in profits you’d imagine that kind of growth to bring with it. Nakamura even acknowledges this to some degree, saying that demand for Subaru vehicles remains strong in the US, with about 48,000 backordered units waiting for delivery and an ultra-tight 10-day supply of inventory.

All of this smacks of some kind of political double-talk meant to drum up support for more tax breaks in the Hoosier state, especially since so little of it appears to be grounded in anything resembling reality — but maybe we’re missing something.

What do you guys think? Is Subaru really having a tough time luring workers away from the burger joints, or is there something else at play here? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know.


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4 Responses

  1. Well, I know rates in Ontario Canada are higher, but I know that to pay a $14/hr employee it costs about $22/hr to the business

    1. Cool. Now figure out how much it costs the business to operate without employees. LOL

  2. Uaw contract talks start soon. Talk of unionizing the foreign shops will start again too.
    It’s a tactic used to shut the workers up.

    1. Agreed, but telling all your employees they could make more at McDonald’s seems like a weird flex.

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