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Subaru in Australia

Subaru began as a Japanese company with its eyes on the sky instead of the ground. The Aircraft Research Laboratory began in 1917 with the ambitious goal to produce technologically advanced aircraft. The company went through a drastic reorganization process in 1931 and became the Nakajima Aircraft Co., named after the Aircraft Research Laboratory’s head Chikuhei Nakajima. Under this incarnation, Nakajima Aircraft Co. designed and implemented the infamous Zero aircraft of World War II. However, in 1946, the company was again reorganized and became the Fuji Sangyo Co., LTD. The ingenious Fuji Sangyo turned the wartime stock of airplane parts into a post war gold mine, the rabbit motor scooters. From here, the company began its focus on ground transportation.

After several more restructuring, reorganizing, and reshuffling acts, the company finally became the Fuji Heavy Industries as it is known today. Fuji Heavy Industries is the parent company of Subaru, which means “unite” in Japanese. This final restructuring happened in 1955, which is one year after the company began to produce automobiles. The first automobile constructed by the future parent company of Subaru was the P1, a popular model of automobile that had a strong and sturdy reputation.


It was not until 1973 that Subaru made its way to Australia. During this time, the Japanese company began first importing its Subaru vehicles into Australia. At this time, there are no Subaru vehicles or components manufactured or assembled in Australia. However, Subaru Australia experiences continually high net sales on an annual basis and the vehicle itself has experienced a great amount of success in the country’s grueling rallies and automobile races.

Other car manufacturers have begun to create partnerships with Subaru, including their rival Toyota. The Subaru factory in Lafayette, Indiana will also begin producing Toyota Camrys in addition to the Subaru vehicles that come off the assembly line. Furthermore, General Motors owns approximately 15 percent of Fuji Heavy Industries, with Toyota owning another eight percent.

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Australian Subaru automobiles are typically manufactured and assembled at the company’s Japanese plants. There are several models of Subaru vehicles currently on the Australian market, with the most popular being the Forrester and the Liberty. The Liberty is sold under the name Legacy in other parts of the world. Subaru’s Impreza also has a high sales rate in Australia. These vehicles continue to win awards based on their high quality construction, safety, and durability. Furthermore, since 1998, all Subaru vehicles sold in Australia have been equipped with four wheel drive capabilities. This shift has made Australia the third largest market for the Subaru family of vehicles. The company’s largest market is Japan with the second largest market being the United States.

When it comes to automobile racing and road rallies, Subaru continues to out-perform the rest of the class. In fact, Australia’s Subaru Rally Team boasts more championship titles than any other team in the history of the country’s racing sport. Furthermore, Subaru vehicles have repeatedly experienced victories in Australian road rallies, as well as major international road rallies.

 

 
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