From the post-World War II wreckage of Nakajima Aircraft Company arose a company that made motor scooters from left over airplane parts. Fuji Sangyo Company was eventually formed into twelve different operations. Six of these separate entities came together to form Fuji Heavy Industries in 1950, with the express intent of entering the automobile manufacturing industry.
The name selected for the automobile brand was Subaru, the Japanese word for the six-star cluster in the heavens, The Pleiaides. The name is representative of the six companies that came together to form FHI.
From inauspicious beginnings, the Subaru brand of autos, light trucks and sports utility vehicles has come to represent a quirky, competent choice of intelligent, free-thinking people who appreciate quality and performance in their vehicular choices.
Subaru is not positioned in the “basic transportation” mainstream of the auto industry. Rather, they have set themselves apart by targeting discerning, educated, younger people with a taste for adventure, who are viewed as smart, solid, but different.
This corporate marketing strategy is evidenced by the fact that Subaru was the first automobile company to offer “boxer” engines in mass produced cars and SUVs. Sure, Porsche and Ferrari offer or have offered boxer engines, but neither of these two manufacturers could be considered as having mass produced offerings.
Additionally, Subaru has incorporated their fine All-Wheel-Drive system into all their models, making them the only manufacturer to offer the traction advantages of all the wheels being driven by their high-reving boxer engines.
Among the most popular Subaru models have been the Legacy (1989), Impreza (1993), Outback SUV (1995) and the Forester SUV (1997). The Outback achieved prominence in Western markets when their advertising campaign featured Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan as their spokesperson. The highlights of the ads were the versatility, power and rugged performance of this small SUV: Car-like comfort and features with off-road capability.
Subaru Technica International is to Subaru what AMG is to Mercedes Benz or Motorsports Division is to BMW. Turbo-charging began to be offered on Impreza models with the appellation “WRX” to denote their World Rally Cup heritage. They upgraded performance even further with the addition of STi to designate a small sedan with a high output engine and sports suspension that was rally-capable right off the showroom floor.
As competitors in the World Rally Championship, Subaru took the manufacturer’s title three years in a row, 1995-7. Many endurance records and podium finishes have been recorded by Subaru drivers in all parts of the world.