Who Makes Subaru? Uncover the History and Ownership of the Japanese Automaker

Who makes subaru – When it comes to reliable and adventure-ready vehicles, Subaru stands out as a top choice. But who exactly is behind the iconic automaker? Join us as we delve into the fascinating history, ownership structure, and global reach of Subaru, revealing the driving force behind its success.

Subaru’s journey began in the early 20th century, and over the decades, it has evolved into a global automotive giant. Today, it operates under the umbrella of Fuji Heavy Industries, and its manufacturing facilities span the globe, producing a diverse range of vehicles that cater to drivers worldwide.

History of Subaru

Who makes subaru

Subaru, renowned for its all-wheel drive vehicles and boxer engines, has a rich history marked by innovation and resilience. From its humble beginnings as an aircraft manufacturer to its transformation into a global automotive powerhouse, Subaru’s journey has been filled with notable milestones and significant events.

Foundation and Early Years

  • 1917:Aircraft Research Laboratory founded by Chikuhei Nakajima.
  • 1931:Nakajima Aircraft Company established.
  • 1936:Production of the AT-1 advanced trainer aircraft begins.

Post-War Transformation

Following the end of World War II, Nakajima Aircraft Company was dissolved and reorganized into several smaller companies. One of these companies, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), inherited the automotive division and began producing vehicles under the Subaru brand.

Launch of the Subaru 360

  • 1958:Subaru 360, Japan’s first mass-produced kei car, is introduced.
  • 1961:Subaru Sambar, a compact commercial vehicle, is launched.

Introduction of All-Wheel Drive

Subaru’s commitment to innovation led to the development of its iconic all-wheel drive system, which debuted in the Leone in 1972. This feature provided superior traction and stability, particularly in challenging driving conditions.

Expansion and Global Success

  • 1980s:Subaru establishes a presence in the United States and other international markets.
  • 1990s:Launch of the Outback, a rugged all-wheel drive station wagon that became a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • 2000s:Subaru introduces the Impreza WRX, a performance-oriented variant that achieved success in rallying and motorsports.

Recent Developments

In recent years, Subaru has continued to focus on safety, innovation, and environmental sustainability. The company has developed advanced safety technologies such as EyeSight and introduced hybrid and electric vehicles to its lineup.

Ownership and Structure

Subaru is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), a Japanese conglomerate that manufactures a wide range of products, including automobiles, aircraft, and industrial equipment. FHI was founded in 1953 as a merger of five companies, including the predecessor to Subaru, Nakajima Aircraft Company.

Relationship with Fuji Heavy Industries

Subaru is the automotive division of FHI and is responsible for the design, development, and production of Subaru vehicles. FHI provides Subaru with financial and operational support, as well as access to its global network of manufacturing and distribution facilities.

In turn, Subaru contributes to FHI’s overall revenue and profitability.The close relationship between Subaru and FHI allows for the sharing of resources and expertise, which benefits both companies. For example, Subaru has access to FHI’s advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities, while FHI benefits from Subaru’s strong brand recognition and loyal customer base.

Manufacturing Facilities

Subaru has a global network of manufacturing facilities that produce vehicles and components for its worldwide markets. These facilities are located in Japan, the United States, and Thailand, and each has its own unique capabilities and production capacity.

Subaru’s main manufacturing facility is located in Gunma, Japan. This facility is responsible for producing a majority of Subaru’s vehicles, including the Impreza, WRX, and Outback. The Gunma plant has a production capacity of over 1 million vehicles per year.

Subaru also has a manufacturing facility in Lafayette, Indiana, United States. This facility produces the Ascent and Legacy models. The Lafayette plant has a production capacity of over 300,000 vehicles per year.

In addition to its own manufacturing facilities, Subaru also has partnerships with other automakers to produce vehicles. For example, Subaru produces the BRZ sports car in partnership with Toyota at a facility in Gunma, Japan.

Subaru’s Manufacturing Facilities Worldwide

  • Gunma, Japan: Main manufacturing facility, produces a majority of Subaru’s vehicles, production capacity of over 1 million vehicles per year.
  • Lafayette, Indiana, United States: Produces the Ascent and Legacy models, production capacity of over 300,000 vehicles per year.
  • Oizumi, Gunma, Japan: Produces the BRZ sports car in partnership with Toyota.
  • Bangkok, Thailand: Produces the XV (Crosstrek) model for the Asia-Pacific market.

Product Range

Subaru’s current product range encompasses a diverse lineup of vehicles, catering to a wide spectrum of customer needs. From compact cars to SUVs and performance models, Subaru offers a comprehensive portfolio that combines versatility, safety, and driving enjoyment.

Each Subaru model boasts a unique set of features and specifications, ensuring that there is a vehicle to suit every lifestyle and preference. Let’s delve into the key highlights of each model in the current Subaru lineup:


  • Compact sedan and hatchback
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for enhanced stability and traction
  • Subaru Boxer engine for improved handling and fuel efficiency
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology for advanced safety features
  • Spacious interior with comfortable seating and ample cargo space


  • Midsize sedan
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for superior handling in all conditions
  • Powerful turbocharged engine options for exhilarating performance
  • Advanced infotainment system with intuitive touchscreen interface
  • Generous cabin space with premium materials and amenities


  • Rugged SUV with off-road capabilities
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-Mode for enhanced traction
  • Spacious and versatile interior with ample seating and cargo capacity
  • Powerful and fuel-efficient Boxer engine options
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology for comprehensive safety


  • Compact SUV with versatile design
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for all-weather confidence
  • Roomy interior with comfortable seating and ample cargo space
  • Subaru Boxer engine for a smooth and responsive driving experience
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology for advanced safety features


  • Subcompact SUV with rugged styling
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for off-road adventures
  • Spacious and versatile interior with ample seating and cargo capacity
  • Fuel-efficient Boxer engine for reduced emissions
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology for enhanced safety


  • Three-row SUV with spacious seating
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for all-terrain capabilities
  • Powerful turbocharged engine for effortless performance
  • Spacious and versatile interior with premium amenities
  • EyeSight Driver Assist Technology for advanced safety features


  • Sports coupe with rear-wheel drive
  • Subaru Boxer engine for a low center of gravity and agile handling
  • Lightweight and aerodynamic design for enhanced performance
  • Responsive steering and suspension for a thrilling driving experience
  • Comfortable and supportive interior with premium materials

Market Presence

Subaru’s global market presence is marked by a strong foothold in several key regions. In the United States, Subaru has consistently ranked among the top 10 best-selling automotive brands. In 2022, Subaru sold over 600,000 vehicles in the U.S., capturing a market share of approximately 3%. The company has also established a solid presence in Canada, where it holds a market share of around 5%.Outside

of North America, Subaru has a significant presence in Japan, its home market. In Japan, Subaru is consistently ranked among the top 5 best-selling automotive brands, with a market share of over 10%. The company also has a growing presence in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.Subaru’s

customer demographics vary depending on the region. In the United States, Subaru vehicles are popular among outdoor enthusiasts, families, and pet owners. The company’s vehicles are known for their all-wheel drive capability, which provides enhanced stability and control in all weather conditions.

In Japan, Subaru vehicles are popular among a wide range of consumers, including young professionals, families, and retirees.Overall, Subaru’s global market presence is characterized by strong sales volume, a loyal customer base, and a growing presence in key regions around the world.

Brand Identity and Values: Who Makes Subaru

Subaru has cultivated a distinct brand identity that revolves around adventure, reliability, and safety. These values are deeply ingrained in the company’s DNA and are reflected in every aspect of its operations, from product design to marketing campaigns.

Subaru is a Japanese automaker that’s known for its all-wheel-drive vehicles. If you’re looking for a Subaru that’s great in the snow, you can’t go wrong with the Outback or the Forester. Both of these models have a lot of ground clearance and a spacious interior, making them perfect for families and adventurers alike.

To learn more about which Subaru is best in the snow, check out this article: which subaru is best in snow . And remember, no matter which Subaru you choose, you’ll be getting a reliable and capable vehicle that’s built to last.

Brand Attributes

Subaru’s brand attributes can be summarized as follows:

  • Adventure:Subaru vehicles are designed to handle rugged terrain and inspire exploration. The company’s “Go Further” tagline encapsulates this adventurous spirit.
  • Reliability:Subaru is renowned for producing durable and dependable vehicles. Its cars consistently rank highly in reliability surveys, earning the trust of customers.
  • Safety:Subaru prioritizes safety in all its vehicles. Its EyeSight driver-assist technology has received accolades for reducing accidents and fatalities.

Marketing Strategies, Who makes subaru

Subaru’s marketing strategies are carefully crafted to reinforce its brand identity. The company uses a mix of traditional and digital channels to reach its target audience, including:

  • Adventure-themed campaigns:Subaru’s marketing campaigns often feature breathtaking scenery and outdoor activities, showcasing the adventurous nature of its vehicles.
  • Customer testimonials:Subaru frequently shares customer testimonials that highlight the reliability and safety of its cars.
  • Social media engagement:Subaru actively engages with its customers on social media, fostering a sense of community and sharing stories of adventure.

Overall, Subaru’s brand identity and values are seamlessly integrated into its products and marketing strategies, creating a cohesive and recognizable brand experience for customers.

Technology and Innovation

Subaru has a long-standing reputation for technological innovation, with a focus on safety, performance, and environmental sustainability. The company has developed several key technologies that have become synonymous with the Subaru brand.

One of Subaru’s most notable technological advancements is its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) system. SAWD provides all-wheel traction and handling, enhancing stability and control in all driving conditions. Subaru’s AWD system is considered one of the most advanced in the industry and is a key differentiator for the brand.


Subaru has a strong commitment to safety, and its vehicles consistently rank among the top performers in safety ratings. The company’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is a suite of advanced safety features that includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

EyeSight has been shown to reduce the risk of collisions by up to 85%.


Subaru vehicles are known for their performance and handling. The company’s Boxer engine design provides a low center of gravity and excellent power delivery. Subaru also offers a range of performance-oriented models, such as the WRX and STI, which deliver thrilling driving experiences.

Subaru, a renowned automaker hailing from Japan, has crafted a diverse lineup of vehicles that cater to various needs. If you’re curious about which Subaru model reigns supreme, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide: which subaru is the best . By exploring this insightful resource, you’ll gain valuable knowledge on the strengths and characteristics of each Subaru offering, empowering you to make an informed decision based on your unique preferences.

Environmental Sustainability

Subaru is committed to environmental sustainability and has made significant progress in reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles. The company’s hybrid and electric vehicles offer improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Subaru also uses recycled materials in its manufacturing processes and has a goal of achieving zero landfill waste.

Competition and Industry Landscape

The automotive industry is highly competitive, with numerous established players and emerging challengers. Subaru faces competition from both domestic and international automakers, each with its own strengths and strategies.

Subaru’s Main Competitors

Subaru’s primary competitors include:


Known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and hybrid technology.

Subaru, the renowned Japanese automaker, has been crafting high-performance vehicles for decades. If you’re curious about which Subarus pack a turbocharged punch, check out what subarus have turbos . From the iconic WRX to the practical Outback XT, Subaru continues to push the boundaries of automotive engineering.


Offers a range of vehicles from compact cars to SUVs, with a focus on fuel economy and performance.


Strong in the SUV and crossover segments, with a reputation for innovation and affordability.


Known for its stylish designs, sporty handling, and advanced safety features.


A global automaker with a strong presence in Europe and Asia, offering a wide range of vehicles.

Competitive Landscape

Subaru’s competitive strengths include:

All-wheel drive

Standard on most models, providing enhanced traction and stability.


Consistently receives high safety ratings from independent organizations.

Niche market

Focuses on a specific segment of the market, offering unique features and capabilities.However, Subaru also faces some weaknesses:

Limited model range

Compared to larger automakers, Subaru offers a narrower range of vehicles.

Fuel economy

Some models have lower fuel economy ratings than competitors.

Brand recognition

May not have the same level of brand recognition as some larger automakers.

Future Outlook and Growth Strategies

Subaru, renowned for its all-wheel drive vehicles and unwavering commitment to safety, has set its sights on continued growth and expansion. The company’s strategic initiatives and potential opportunities position it well for success in the evolving automotive landscape.

Product Expansion

  • Subaru plans to introduce new models to cater to evolving customer preferences, including electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • The company aims to expand its presence in emerging markets, leveraging its strengths in all-wheel drive and ruggedness.

Technology and Innovation

  • Subaru is investing heavily in research and development, focusing on autonomous driving, connectivity, and electrification.
  • The company’s EyeSight driver assistance system has received widespread acclaim and continues to be refined and enhanced.

Market Penetration

  • Subaru aims to increase its market share in key regions, particularly in North America and Europe.
  • The company is exploring strategic partnerships and collaborations to expand its reach and strengthen its distribution network.

Brand Building

  • Subaru recognizes the importance of brand loyalty and is committed to fostering strong relationships with customers.
  • The company emphasizes customer satisfaction, community involvement, and environmental sustainability in its brand messaging.


From its humble beginnings to its current status as a respected automaker, Subaru’s story is a testament to innovation, resilience, and a deep commitment to customer satisfaction. As the company continues to push the boundaries of automotive technology and expand its global footprint, we can expect even more exciting developments from the brand in the years to come.

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