For nearly a year, readers of TTAC have known what’s coming now. As reported back when, Fuji Heavy’s Subaru will end its 54-year history of producing minivehicles in February next year.
Drawing on rich experience with aircraft manufacturing technology, a very light Subaru 360 was the first minicar marketed in Japan. Launched in 1958, the 360 started the Japanese kei car craze.
Fuji Heavy sold about 270,000 minivehicles at its peak in fiscal 1990, but with the dwindling of kei car sales, Fuji’s numbers declined to about 93,000 units in fiscal 2010, says The Nikkei [sub]
Fuji already ceased production of the Subaru Stella. Subaru Sambar commercial vehicles will be the last ones to roll off Subaru’s lines.
Subaru will not exit the mini vehicle business. Cars will be built under OEM contract by Toyota’s Daihatsu.
Fuji heavy will use its mini vehicle lines to assemble sports cars, jointly developed with Toyota.