Who Makes Subaru?

Dustin Hawley | Mar 03, 2021

Subaru vehicles have been available in the US since 1968. Since their introduction into the American auto industry, they have built a reputation for manufacturing some of the most rugged all-wheel-drive vehicles available on the market. The company is also renowned for using high-torque boxer engines in their vehicle line. Subaru cars, trucks, and SUVs are currently manufactured by none other than Subaru itself, as the company is the automotive division of Subaru Corporation. 

who makes Subaru

Priorly known as the Fuji Heavy Industries, the company owns various manufacturing companies, from heavy industrial equipment to aircraft. Subaru gets its name from the Pleiades star cluster, sometimes called the “seven sisters.” Of the seven, six stars can be seen with the naked eye. Subaru is the Japanese name for this star cluster, a name chosen because what was then known as Fuji Heavy Industries was created by a merger of six major companies. The name’s origin can still be seen today, in Subaru’s iconic six-star logo mounted on the grills of nearly every one of its vehicles.

Where Are Subaru Cars Made?  - Find the best Subaru deals!

Toyota owns 20% of the company and is the largest single shareholder. Subaru gains access to steel and other raw materials produced through the Toyota supplier network as part of this arrangement.

While Toyota maintains dozens of factories throughout the world, Subaru has only two manufacturing plants, making it a smaller vehicle producer than some of the major players. The original plant is located in Gunma, Japan, and the other is in Lafayette, Indiana.

Subaru announced plans to expand the factory and underwent a $400 million expansion in 2017. In 2019, the Indiana plant celebrated a major milestone when it produced its four millionth vehicle. 

Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA) is a subsidiary of Subaru Corporation and the home of North American Subaru production. SIA invested $140.2 million in new machinery and equipment (in addition to the $400 million expansion mentioned above) and made improvements to increase its production capacity by nearly 100,000 units annually to meet the growing demand for Subaru vehicles in North America.

Is Subaru Part-Owned By Toyota? - Find the best Subaru deals!

Toyota announced back in September of 2019 that they were going to increase their stake in Subaru from 16.83% to 20%.

While investors remained unruffled, many customers were concerned. What would this mean for beloved models like the Outback, Forester, and WRX? Would Subaru lose its panache and become just an alternate branding for Toyota’s cars?

At this time, Toyota does not have any short-term plans to make Subaru a wholly-owned subsidiary, although it could occur somewhere down the line. And while there has been some crossover with the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ, this may be more of an exception than a trend, as that particular car is a sports coupe that suits both brands.

The 2021 Outback and other original Subaru vehicles remain virtually unchanged, and the all-wheel-drive powertrain shows no signs of being a relic of the past. By all appearances, Toyota recognizes Subaru’s value and does not intend to alter a product line that is already successful.

Changes On The Horizon - Find the best Subaru deals!

In many respects, Subaru enthusiasts can expect bigger and better things thanks to Toyota’s partial ownership. Subaru itself is a small company compared to Toyota, and now they have access to an expanded supply chain and a research and development budget that matches up with the most prominent players in the automotive industry.

Toyota has spent billions of dollars on hybrid and electric technology, and now Subaru is getting access to it. The company has stated that by 2030, 40% of Subaru vehicles will be either electric or hybrid. By 2035, they plan on offering electric and hybrid models exclusively. 

Subaru’s partnership with Toyota is already starting to bear fruit, as they’ve already launched the Crosstek Plug-In Hybrid, with hybrid options for the Outback, Forester, and Ascent scheduled for 2021 and 2022.

In a statement regarding the partnership, Subaru said, "In this once-in-a-century period of profound transformation, by strengthening our bonds and aligning capabilities, we aim to make ever-better cars, better than what either company has been able to achieve thus far.”

Meanwhile, Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura has vowed to “maintain the unique attributes our customers have come to expect.” Rather than becoming a clone of Toyota, it looks like Subaru — and their customers — will only benefit from this relationship.

Summary - Find the best Subaru deals!

Subaru has grown into an iconic brand with a highly-respected vehicle line. Today, the company operates over 1,900 dealerships in 100 countries, with an eco-technology division that focuses on green technology and waste management solutions. With growing sales and production capabilities, the automaker looks to continue its rise in the North American market and strengthen its place amongst competitors due to its partnership with Toyota. Staying true to the iconic image of the brand’s namesake, Subaru’s future looks as bright as the stars. 

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