Photo courtesy of Subaru.
Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), is renaming itself to Subaru Corp. to enhance a rising Subaru brand that closed its fiscal year in March with sales of 1.05 million vehicles for the first time in its 58-year history.
The renaming will allow the new company to enhance the Subaru brand and focus on building a strong business structure, according to a release. In addition to the automobile division, the company has an aerospace division, industrial power business, and eco technology division that sells refuse trucks, a robot sweeper and wind turbines. Subaru now sells vehicles in 90 countries.
The company will change the name in 2017 as it celebrates the centennial of Nakajima Aircraft Company — the primary suppliers or aircraft to the Japanese government during WWII that was broken up by the Allies after the war under keiretsu legislation.
FHI was incorporated in 1953 with the joining of five companies, including Fuji Kogyo, Fuji Jidosha Kogyo, Omiya Fuji Kogyo, Utsunomiya Sharyo and Tokyo Fuji Sangyo.
The company offered its first Subaru vehicle in 1958, when it introduced the Subaru 360 minicar. At the time, FHI CEO Kenji Kita chose the Subaru name, a Japanese word refering to the Pleiades star cluster. It represented five stars becoming one.
Subaru of America was established in 1968 in Philadelphia by Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm, and later moved to Cherry Hill, N.J., when FHI acquired full ownership.
Subaru now offers four cars and four crossovers in the U.S. market, including the BRZ, Impreza, WRX, Legacy, Forester, Crosstrek, Crosstrek Hybrid, and Outback.
For the 2016 model year, the Outback was the top Subaru vehicle added to commercial fleets, followed by the Legacy.