This Day in Dayton, 2 December
The Journal and Courier reported on December 2, 1986 that Lafayette was getting a car plant. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and Subaru Isuzu Motor Co. Ltd. (SIA) held a joint press conference on that day to announce that they would build a $430 million plant here, on State Road 38 near Interstate 65. The State confirmed that they were offering a $55 million incentive package to pay for buying land, improving the interstate and training. State Rep. Patrick J. Kiely, R-Anderson, said “If you had your druthers, you’d like to land them without any state subsidies. But that’s not realistic and not what we have to do to compete with other states.” Kentucky and Illinois were notified that they had lost out in the competition for the plant that Indiana had won. The Dayton town board was caught by surprise by the press conference. On examining the map of where the plant would go, they determined that a piece of the land on the eastern edge was within the boundaries of the town of Dayton. Upon being told of this, SIA immediately graciously extended recognition to the town. They donated a vehicle to the fire department, money for cherry trees, and the seed money for the flag fund, among other gestures. Although there was considerable grumbling about the changes that the plant would bring, it has proved to be a good neighbor.