Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the parent company of Japanese car maker Subaru, will be known as Subaru Corporation from April 1, next year.
Announcing the decision this week, the corporation’s board of directors said that the change is part of a plan to fully integrate FHI’s Industrial Products Company with the Subaru automotive business. That part of the process will take effect from October 1, this year.
The overall plan, announced in May 2014, is called “Prominence 2020”. Two key aspects in that announcement were a goal of enhancing the Subaru brand, and “building a strong business structure”.
FHI’s origins date back to the foundation of the Aircraft Research Laboratory in 1917, which became Nakajima Aircraft Co in the following year. The Fuji Heavy Industries name was established in 1953, just five years before introducing the Subaru 360 micro car.
Subaru, as fans are quick to note, is the Japanese name for the star cluster known in the west as Pleiades, an ancient Greek term later mythologised as the collective name of ‘seven divine sisters’, daughters to the human woman Pleione and the Titan god Atlas.
The company said that it will “take the opportunity” of next year’s 100th anniversary of that first founding in 1917 to unify with its well-known brand name. At the same time, the shift will “optimise company-wide allocation of management resources”.
“Under our new company name, we will continue to seek sustainable growth by offering Subaru’s distinctive value of ‘Enjoyment and Peace of Mind’ to customers worldwide, pursuant to our management philosophy of aiming to be ‘a compelling company with a strong market presence built upon its customer-first principle'”, the company said in a statement.
FHI’s portfolio ranges from industrial products to helicopters, but it is the Subaru automotive arm that delivers the bulk of its revenue. The majority of that comes from North America, which represents two thirds of the car maker’s global sales. Sales there grew 11 per cent in the past financial year, with 630,000 sales.
In Australia, Subaru’s 14,924 year-to-date sales mark a 3.4 per cent improvement over the same period in 2015.
Subaru was the 10th best-selling brand in Australia for April, with 3156 sales – behind the 3303 sales achieved by Mercedes-Benz.
Top ten brands April 2016