Subaru’s parent company plans to change its name from Fuji Heavy Industries to, simply, Subaru Corporation. Why? Because #branding, of course.
In an effort to leverage the recognition of its Subaru brand, the transportation giant says the move away from its long-winded company name will help grow Subaru as a distinctive global presence in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Fuji Heavy Industries currently has four divisions: Automobile, Aerospace, Industrial Power Products, and Eco Technology.
Fuji Heavy Industries announced it would increase production at its Lafayette, Ind. plant as Subaru hits its North American sales target five years early.
Could there be a Subaru Grand Outback in the future? That’s what the automaker is considering for its seven-passenger crossover due in showrooms in 2017.
No, that title is not a misprint. Fuji Heavy Industries, which current builds the Toyota Camry at an Indiana assembly plant, will stop producing the mid-size sedan for Toyota starting in 2016.
Fuji Heavy Industries, the Subaru’s corporate parent, had a 400% increase in operating profit due to strong U.S. sales for that brand. North American sales for Subaru in its largest market were up 30% to 116,000 unites in the quarter just ended. Fuji’s operating profits were 69.64 billion yen ($739.6 million), up from 17.33 billion yen ($184.05 million) last year, a record for quarterly profits for that company. (Read More…)
Rather than expand production in North America, Subaru is taking a contrarian route and expanding their manufacturing in Japan – even as everyone is scrambling to get out.
That Subaru is still thriving is in itself a minor miracle. The small Japanese car makers have either imploded (Isuzu), are threatening to (Mitsubishi), or have sought shelter (even Subaru is now 20% owned by Toyota). Subaru did have its own near-death experience in the early nineties. But in a long string of wild bets, Subaru’s final card in the US was a big gamble on AWD, and the timing couldn’t have been better. And like most successful gamblers, there have been losses along the way (see above). But perhaps because of the bumpy ride, Subaru is still alive and kicking. (Read More…)