Subaru Through The Years
Subaru is the Japanese word for the Pleiades star cluster and was meaningful to the CEO. The logo is also based on this star cluster as well as the fact that FHI was created to the merge six different companies.
In 1968, the Japanese government ordered the merger of many of its automobile manufacturers to improve competitiveness. This led to Nissan purchasing 20 percent of FHI. However, when Nissan was acquired by Renault in 1999, it sold its stake to General Motors. In October 2005, Toyota bought almost 9 percent of the shares owned by General Motors, which ultimately lead the company to no longer be affiliated with the FHI since it sold the remaining 11 percent on the open market.
Subaru in America
Subaru entered the market in the U.S. in 1968 with Subaru of America, which was established in Philadelphia. The Subaru 360 was the first model to be exported to the U.S. since it was before Subaru of America began to produce its own vehicles. But according to an automobile magazine, it wasn't acceptable due to safety concerns and a lack of engine power. However, since the Subaru 360 was very light in weight at less than a thousand pounds, it was exempt from normal safety standards testing at the time. After this report was released, Subaru sales collapsed in the U.S. The Subaru 360 was replaced by the more advanced, but short-lived R-2 model.
In 1954, the first American-made Subaru hit the road and was called the Subaru 1500. There were only 20 of this model ever made due to supply issues at the Japanese plant. From its start with the Subaru 1500 in 1954 through today, the company has gone on to manufacture dozens of different Subaru models, which are marketed around the world.
In 1971, Subaru began production of the Subaru Leone, which was a compact car. For many years this was the only Subaru model available internationally since smaller models created by Subaru were not considered road-worthy. In North America, the name Leone wasn't used; instead, each version of this vehicle was named for its trim level: DL, GL and GSR. Subaru discontinued it in 1994, which proved to be the predecessor for the Impreza.
Subaru Products and Technologies
In 1989, Subaru introduced the Legacy, a midsize sedan or wagon. It was developed specifically to compete with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in the North American midsize car market. In 1995, the Outback trim model was created on the wagon version of the Legacy, which in 2000 became its own unique model. Currently, the fifth generation of the Legacy and the fourth generation of the Outback are on the market.
The Impreza was introduced in 1993. Initially, it could be purchased as a two-door coupe, four-door sedan or five-door wagon in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive versions. A turbo-charged version was also available in the markets except for North America, due to the fact that Subaru was never affiliated with performance. In fact, Subaru changed focus entirely to emphasize all-wheel drive in North America. As of 1997, all-wheel drive was standard on Impreza and Legacy models. The current model of the Impreza is the third generation, which is available in all-drive as a four-door coupe or a five-door hatchback, or crossover utility vehicle.
In 1997, Subaru launched the Forester, a crossover SUV that comes in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The Forester is currently in its third generation, which was launched in 2008. It comes in with a four-speed automatic transmission or a five- or six-speed manual transmis+F70sion, with the 6-speed featured as a diesel-fuelled engine. There are also several different trim levels for this vehicle.
The midsize crossover SUV called the Tribeca was launched in 2005. It comes in 5- and 7-seat configurations, and is the only vehicle in its class in North America that has all-wheel drive as standard equipment. The latest vehicle from Subaru is the Exiga, but it is not going to be sold in the U.S. due to its similarities to the Tribeca.