Subaru History

Intro

Some background info on Subaru …

The Meaning of Subaru

"SUBARU" is a Japanese word meaning "unite," as well as a term identifying a cluster of six stars which the Greeks called the Pleiades — part of the Taurus constellation. According to Greek mythology, Atlas' daughters turned into this group of stars.

Formation of Subaru

Subaru started out as "The Aircraft Research Laboratory" in 1917 by Chikuhei Nakajima. Then in 1931, the company was reorganized as "Nakajima Aircraft Co., Ltd", designer of the infamous Zero fighter. At the end of the Second World War, Nakajima Aircraft was again reorganized, this time as Fuji Sangyo Co, Ltd. In 1946, Fuji Sangyo created its first Rabbit motor scooter with spare aircraft parts from the war (see picture on right). In 1950, Fuji Sangyo was divided into 12 smaller corporations according to the 1950 Corporate Credit Rearrangement Act, but between 1953-1955, four of these corporations and a newly formed corporation formed by an alliance of the four aforementioned companies were again merged together to form the Fuji Heavy Industries we know today.
The new corporation adopted the "Subaru" cluster of stars as its official logo for its line of automobiles. In 1955, Fuji Heavy Industries rolled out the P-1 as "Subaru 1500". This vehicle has the first Japanese-manufactured monocoque body. Unfortunately, the sales of this vehicle was terminated due to funding difficulties.
Today, Fuji Heavy Industries is a global transportation conglomerate employing more than 15,000 people with nine manufacturing plants and selling its products in 100 countries. The company has a long history as a technological innovator and boasts some of the most diversified and advanced all-wheel drive (AWD) technologies in the world.

Advancement and Technology

Using its advanced research and development capabilities, FHI applies much of its aircraft technology to the company's highly successful automotive division. Prime among these technology transfers is its horizontally opposed "Boxer" engine and its monocoque body construction.
FHI's Subaru division was the first Japanese auto maker to offer front-wheel drive passenger cars in Japan (1965) and four-wheel drive passenger cars in the world (1972). Fuji's first car, the 1958 Subaru 360 Minicar, utilized a variety of new technologies. It was the breakthrough in the Japanese auto industry that helped the company expand into the arena of passenger car production. Today, the reliability of the Subaru brand name is reflected in the more than 10 million vehicles sold to satisfied customers worldwide.
In 1984, FHI's technological leadership continued when it introduced the electronic continuously variable transmission (ECTV), a technology that replaces standard gears and gives both exceptionally smooth and responsive acceleration as well as better fuel economy than conventional automatic or manual transmissions.

FHI's Worldwide Operations

FHI has seven automotive manufacturing plants worldwide, five of which are based in Japan. The Subaru-Isuzu Automotive, Inc., (SIA), plant in Lafayette, Ind. and Ta Ching Motors Co., Ltd., a manufacturing plant in Taiwan, ensure that a stable supply of Subaru vehicles are manufactured locally and are specifically suited to these markets.

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