By on December 8, 2014

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Subaru of America is applying to move its headquarters four miles west of its current home in Cherry Hill, N.J., setting up shop in Camden, N.J.

The new site — adjacent to Campbell Soup’s Campbell Gateway District — will house over 500 employees and various sales, marketing, service and administration functions within its 250,000 sq-ft floor plan, uniting said functions from the three separate sites in southern New Jersey where they currently reside.

The application is subject to approval by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, with negotiations to come with developer Brandywine Realty Trust. The final decision is expected in April of 2015, with completion of the project by late 2016 or early 2017.

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59 Comments on “Subaru Of America Applies For New HQ Site In New Jersey...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Why not Manhattan? I guess Subaru just isn’t the “Cadillac” of car headquarters

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Camden?

    Seriously?

    Subaru NA HQ to be located in CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY?

    WTF!

    I will admit that I had no idea Subie’s current NA HQ was presently located in NJ, but it’s such a juxtaposition to think of the image Subaru has so carefully crafted for itself, and then realize that its NA HQ is in New Jersey, let alone Camden.

    From Bend, Oregon, to Jersey Shore, Yo!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Didn’t Camden JUST get a new police force?

    I am surprised they aren’t moving to their customer base (Anywhere, N.H.)

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, I think the city of Camden nixed its police force and uses the County Mounties now. I live on the other side of the river and don’t keep up much on current affairs in the Garden State, especially near election time when the airwaves fill with negative campaign attacks (“dishonest politician” so-and-so…”liar”, “cheat”…).

      That Campbell’s area is probably the safest part of Camden, a town which needs revitalization badly, so kudos to Subaru for moving where jobs, income, tax revenue, stability are needed. Plus, the employees can walk across the street and catch a concert or a baseball game.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      Camden’s police force was “made redundant,” as they say in Europe, and then the Camden County Sheriff’s Department was given jurisdiction over the City of Camden. One of my friends used to work for Campbell’s Soup, and she said the office space and employee parking lot were treated like a fortress.

      Obviously, Subaru is not going to do this for free. What was left out of the story is that Subaru seeks $118 million in tax breaks for the move. http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2014/12/subaru_of_america_announces_move_to_camden_pending_118m_in_state_tax_breaks.html

      This will pose quite a conundrum for many of my liberal neighbors who luv their Subarus because the company allows you, the buyer, to direct a Subaru donation to a favorite cause when you buy a new Subie. Many of my neighbors decry the excesses of corporate America, and this is *exactly* why they buy Subarus.

      Then there’s Camden’s crime rate, as reported in this tidbit from the Philadelphia Enquirer, the paper of record in the City of Brotherly Love and Cheesesteak Feuds.
      “Camden’s overall crime rate was more than five times the national average. Its murder rate of 60.6 per 100,000 population was nearly 12 times higher.
      Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/camden_flow/188927931.html#Hd1fkVqDSR836WFQ.99”

      So go get ’em Subaru. As the crow flies, it’s about 4 miles from Cherry Hill to your new digs. And don’t forget to lock your cars…all of ’em!

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    NJ? WTF? Come on out to NKY, we’ve got a nice pre-owned facility designed to Japanese tastes and just waiting for you. It’s even close to your plant!

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Gotta be massive tax subsidies. Camden is pretty much the opposite of Manhattan and Cherry Hill for that matter.

    So, Subaru, just about the fastest growing automaker more or less pokes shallow team at Cadillac in the eye – and makes money doing it. I’m sure ten years from now everyone will wonder why Cadillac thought moving its base would improve its prospects.

    Ron Zarrelli II.

  • avatar
    eCurmudgeon

    Surprised they’re not moving to Boulder, CO.

  • avatar
    John R

    Camden??? Blech. Subby better invest in some pretty robust security measures.

  • avatar
    kivis

    I could care less where their HQ is. My question is why does the government have to “approve” free enterprise moving to a new site.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Presumably because govt is giving SoA plenty of financial incentives to move. No approval would be necessary w/o the incentives, but w/o those incentives no move would be contemplated.

  • avatar
    DanyloS

    The Camden waterfront is actually relatively nice! Surrounding it is a war zone. The move makes sense, Their current HQ is basically surrounded by strip malls and car dealerships, the building looks pretty ancient and I’m sure the taxes are incredibly high.

    A move to Camden allows for a new building, new development to expand the nice waterfront and probably nets Subaru some tax incentives.
    Personally I would rather see them move to the Philly Navy Yard but likely that was considered as big moves like this are not taken lightly

  • avatar
    kosmo

    “The application is subject to approval by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority”

    Where in God’s name have we ended up when you have to get approval from a governmental agency to move your business four miles so that you can double in size and I suspect increase employment substantially?!

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      Because they seek $118 million in tax breaks for the move, which would have to be granted by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

      Because that’s how we roll here in Jersey. Actually, I’m not from here. I’m here on a resident tourist visa. They’re happy to take my tax money, but they always ask about my weird accent. It’s from the Midwest, as in Illinois.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        Ah Illinois where Jersey Govt goes to learn how to screw the people, and get their ethics lessons lets face it nobody cares where the HQ is, they moved four miles no one is leaving they got some of my tax dollars to move, maybe it will help Camden maybe not, I doubt anyone said I will buy an Outback , oh wait their HQ is in NJ, I will buy a Jeep instead because FCA is HQ in London, yeah that also fits the Jeep image.

        Hope this comment does not get eaten.

    • 0 avatar
      Dirk Stigler

      That was my question. “Apply to move” Huh?? Cue “In Soviet Russia” jokes…

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Dystopia.

      Cue Camden.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I interviewed with Subie years ago at there cherry hills office. It was not exactly in the nicest section of CH.

    Very strange corporate culture., almost GM like from the old days.

    The Japanese execs worked on the top 8 floors, had there own elevator and I was told the masses read US personnel were not permitted to speak to them.

  • avatar
    EAF

    There is actually a class action lawsuit, that was filed in Camden NJ, against Subaru Cherry Hill NJ. In short, it’s for manufacturing excessive oil burning junk-box engines. Something about defective piston rings I don’t recall the specifics.

    Never buy a Subaru.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “The Japanese execs worked on the top 8 floors, had there own elevator and I was told the masses read US personnel were not permitted to speak to them.”

    For many years, we had Panasonic as our tier-1 supplier.
    Like all tier-1, customer relationships, frequent meetings were held.
    Panasonic would send four guys, a pair of Americans and a pair of Japanese guys who clearly had the last word. (But only in Japanese).

    One of my coworkers, was fairly fluent in Japanese. When he addressed them directly, they would completely ignore him. Not even acknowledge his voice or make any eye contact.
    The message was very clear: one could only communicate with them thru their chosen path, which was thru their American underlings.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I believe this used to be more common in the US as well.

      I did an awful lot of work for Telcos after the Deregulation/Breakup. In that fairly old-fashioned world, for a higher up to talk directly to a customer/consultant/employee/supplier above or around the formal chain of command, was considered a very public slap in the face and humiliation of the guy in the middle.

      I might be reading too much into this, but I was under the impression McKinsey’s strict policy of only accepting hire by C-levels, were to prevent such situations.

      Nowadays in the US (at least Cali) all bets are off. If you walk into a client site, everyone basically shouts as loud as they can to get attention. But only the lawyers get it, since everyone knows they may otherwise sue. Not really sure that is an improvement.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      “When he addressed them directly, they would completely ignore him.”

      Heh.. had that happen, it’s creepy. Lets you know your place, alright. I even had all the grovelling honorifics right and everything.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I’m not sure there’s enough money to make me work under those conditions, unless, of course, that I would be able to appease myself by flipping them off behind their backs

  • avatar
    stuki

    They’ll need to develop some more powerful engines, for the armored versions of their cars…

    The Japanese do have a well deserved reputation for talking the long view. And often being right in the end. So they may just have decided to get used to what operating a business anywhere America will be like in a few decades.

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    I live across the river in Philly, and like this move. The Camden waterfront has been developing for a long time, and now has an aquarium, minor league baseball stadium, leading concert venue, and the Camden campus of Rutgers University, which includes a law school. None of these, however, has a large 9-5 employee base that could support more restaurants, shops, etc., but the proposed Subie headquarters probably will. I think it will be great for Camden, which needs all the help it can get.

    The new location also makes it easily accessible by train from Philly, which is a nice bonus, and might make Subaru a more attractive employer for highly educated urbanites in Center City.

    I know Subaru’s traditional base is in New England, but they’re enormously popular around here too, so the location isn’t as incongruous as you might think in that respect. If it even matters.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      I like this too. Camden has a great industrial history. Besides Campbell’s Soup, Sarnoff developed RCA and built all those radio sets there (plus TVs until the Seventies). Like Detroit, it’s worthy of a comeback. Any marketing dolts can move to Manhattan, it takes guts to head to Camden.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    The all wheel drive will come in handy navigating the largely unmaintained roads in Camden. I wonder if they were constrained by their location in Cherry Hill, it appears small from the street. I thought it was a bank when I first noticed it. Not for nothing but the property taxes in Cherry Hill are beyond ridiculous.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    So Caddy sets up shop in SoHo, and Subaru sets up shop in New Jersey.

    Tony Soprano would never drive a Subaru. Lena Dunham is never going to drive a Caddy.

    If these two brands traded HQ’s, it would make much more sense.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    I had a lot of dealings with the Japanese back in the late seventies when they were having their heavy duty presses manufactured in the USA. I used to deal with their buying agents in NYC. Their offices were like a palace. The presses i shipped went from 5 to 15 tons each and they told us which Japanese steamship company to use. I was told to make arrangements to move a 15 ton press to one Brooklyn pier for loading and the next week was told to pick up the unit from the pier and move to an another Japanese carrier for loading. I told them it would cost a small fortune to move this unit a few blocks for all the road permits, labor and rigging. They could care less. Word came from Japan that they had a better price from the new carrier. Just do as you were told. This when shipping rates from the USA were regulated by the Federal Maritime Commission. Even to this day the Japanese leave a very bad taste in my mouth. Have never wanted to own a Japanese car after dealing with them for 5 years. I always bit my tongue and management always asked me how i did it with out losing my temper. I never forgot how they treated me and my company.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      psst, they really think they’re better then we are, so do the Germans

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Luckily, the Japanese will never regain the whip-hand that they had here in the late ’70s to early ’90s. Technology is now too diffuse throughout the mercilessly competitive Asian countries, most of that Japan’s own doing from seeking cheaper labor and to hollow-out its own middle class.

        While I admire their educational and technical achievements second to none, overall the world would probably be a better place with their deletion. Ultimately they’ll just become a restive province of Greater China because absolutely nobody in all of Asia will deeply partner with them to prevent that and the US presence will just be a fading memory in the region.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Well that’s a bleak scenario, because it’s probably the closest to reality

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I don’t know how it can turn out any differently with 1.5 billion culturally homogenous and mostly obedient people holding a massive grudge against 120 million who are losing 1 million per year and whose majority will be over 65 years of age by 2060.

            Must have been similar in 1943-ish when the world knew Germany and maybe all of Europe were doomed to be overrun by Soviets. Oh, yay.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Relax, the oil crash should occur before 2060 and plunge the world back into the 18th century. Oh and before someone mentions “clean energy!” or “technology!”:

            “Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilisation: such a thing is impossible”

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/21/renewable_energy_simply_wont_work_google_renewables_engineers/

            Additional: You have a point though on the coming challenge, watch all of the strong Japanese firms slowly move out of Japan. No matter the reasons be they Abenomics, currency exchange, Fukushima, demographics, the smart money will flee like rats off a sinking ship.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            28,
            I must divulge that I’m not worried about any of this because I recently had a vision wherein St. Zappa revealed that I will die in the year 2042 from poisoning by the toxic effluvium of the brown paint coating the millions of autonomous Teslotas clogging the streets of Mayor México.

            So, what, me worry?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Did he happen to impart any mixtapes or new albums to you as well? If anyone was going to continue recording/releasing albums for eternity, it would be Zappa.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Actually I did ask him for some undiscovered gem like that and all he said was “Get your own band, jerk.”

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            In 2042 I’ll be dead due to lack of interest… in anything

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I’ll always find some new interest. Like right now it’s hacking up creepy crawlers after this wonderful antibiotic kicked-in.

            God bless Big Pharma!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Are you sick?

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Cold > bronchial infection. Like half the population around here ’cause we’re too stoopit to stay home before it gets this far.

            Ya dere, hey?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Standing in the cold outside of Walmart waiting for those Black Friday deals with all the other sickies will do you in every time

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Standing in the cold outs1de of Walmart waiting for those Black Friday deals with all the other sickies will do you in every time

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Yah, I shoulda tooken my deer standt.

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