By on May 12, 2016

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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.

Ahead of the name change, FHI said it will integrate its Industrial Products and Automobile divisions starting in October of this year. The merge will combine the expertise of both divisions to further improve its Subaru vehicles. Subaru is FHI’s main business, after all, so it’s critical they invest deeply in that division.

Earlier this year, we learned Subaru will follow industry trends by introducing a modular chassis. Like Volkswagen’s plan for its MQB architecture, the Subaru Global Platform will underpin most, if not all, future models. We’ll see it first on the 2017 Impreza. The new, combined might of FHI’s Industrial Products and Automobile divisions will make the most of this switch to a Global Platform.

This name change will probably be transparent for the average consumer. Dealership signage and naming likely won’t change, so the socks n’ sandals crowd will continue to be able to get their Pleiades fix at their local Subaru dealer.

FHI adopted the Exploding Galaxy as their corporate logo in 2003, so these changes make sense. The name change, which requires shareholder approval, is expected to take effect in April 2017.

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23 Comments on “Taking Names: That’s ‘Mr.’ Subaru Corporation, to You...”

  • avatar

    I get the reason behind the name change, but I always liked the sound of “Fuji Heavy Industries”.

    • 0 avatar

      This announcement makes me want to take the “SUBARU” lettering off of a current Subaru and find someone to design and print a vinyl decal that says “FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES”.

      Why? Because only enthusiasts will notice or care. It’s like badging a Buick LaCrosse as LeSabre. Or slapping Holden exterior parts on your Chevy SS.

    • 0 avatar

      Where there are sort of companies like Mitsubishi / Ishikawajima Harima (IHI) / Kawasaki who really makes heavy industry stuff, it was always laughable that small auto company naming them heavy industry
      or ”重工”, so this is a good move.

    • 0 avatar

      More like Toyubi! They own so much of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      It is silly, I would bet even Subaru loyalists aren’t aware that their favorite snow wagon makers have a parent company that does other stuff.

      • 0 avatar

        But it makes sense, the same way GM made other stuff, like washers, refrigerators, radios, industrial motors, buses, motorhomes, locomotives, and other products, some related to autos, some not. One company, many divisions, diversifying its business and making itelf recession-proof. During the deepest postwar recessions, GM always made a reduced profit, but still a profit.

    • 0 avatar

      Me too. It is/was very industrial. Much like the industrial sound of a boxer engine at an intersection that sounds like marbles rolling around in a tin can.

  • avatar
    formula m

    I thought it was cool when I had Mitsubishi brand shafts on my golf clubs back in the day. Cooler than most of their cars up until then.
    It’s healthy for Subaru for both the automotive and other divisions to have a ecognizable corporate title

  • avatar

    Not surprised. Two other examples I can think of off the top of my head are Tandy Corporation becoming Radio Shack Corporation, and Dayton Corporation (parent company of Target stores) Becoming Target Corporation. But yeah, Fuji Heavy Industries sounded cool.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “Exploding galaxy”? Most people call it the Pleiades.

    Remember when Toyo Kogyo made trucks for Ford?

  • avatar

    Better Subaru Corporation than regressing to Nakajima Aircraft Company. Still a lot of long memories out there.

    • 0 avatar

      The radial engines on the Zeros were labeled Mitsubishi, so that’s been pretty much tamped down by now, thanks to Chrysler using their engines in K-car derivatives.

      There are about 850,000 WW2 veterans left, out of more than 16 million in uniform, and they’re dying off at nearly 500 a day/180,000 per year. Most will be gone by the end of the decade. They all know they were the victors, but if you see one, don’t forget to thank him for saving the world.

      • 0 avatar

        Mitsubishi made the the A6M Zero, but the engine (the Sakae or “prosperity”) was made by Nakajima aircraft. Nakajima also license built Zero air frames to help Mitsubishi with production. Nakajima made it’s own line of fighters for the Japanese army (the Zero was a navy plane): the Ki-43 – allied code name Oscar; the Ki-44 – allied code name Tojo; and the Ki-84 – allied code name Frank. By the end of the war Nakajima was the number 1 manufacturer of aircraft for the Japanese military. It was broken up into more than a dozen companies. Five of them reunited to form Fuji Heavy Industries.

  • avatar

    Autoblog podcast members make fun of the sandal crowd of Subaru too. Even going as far as questioning of their clothing.

  • avatar

    Sure, sounds like a good idea now, but wait for the carnage that’ll ensue as soon as someone puts an STI label on a backhoe. “I can make it up that incline! STI, baby!” “I can dig right around that gas line. Subbie precision!” And what’ll happen when someone puts a rally pig sticker on a rocket?

  • avatar

    So here we go:
    There is Fuji-Xerox which makes low to mid level commercial presses (printers) for Xerox Corporation. Will it be called Subaru-Xerox?
    Fuji cameras become Subaru cameras.
    Fuji chemical – now you can buy Subaru films for analogue photography (which some say has higher resolution and better quality than digital.
    And so on.

    How about renaming Renault to Nissan to improve quality perception of French made cars? Or even better – to rename Nissan to Infinity to improve perception of crappy Nissan cars. Hell, why not to rename GM to Chevrolet Corporation? Ford did it.

  • avatar

    It’s always worrisome when a company start dicking around with trivialities, instead of simply focusing on building better products more efficiently. It’s often an early sign the C-suite has lost touch with what made the company a success in the first place. Or is listening to the interns that are giving them BJs. Or something. Very rarely a sign of anything positive.

  • avatar

    Isn’t there a Mr Fuji in the board to veto this untraditional madness*?

    And how is a new modular platform ready to be deployed next year news first now?

    *I don’t really care that much myself; will there be any change in the real world?

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