Subaru’s parent company has changed its name to something a bit more familiar to Subaru fans. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd is now called Subaru Corp.
The car-making operation has long been the most famous brand in the Fuji Heavy Industry portfolio, which makes industrial products from trains to helicopters, and is named after the Japanese word for the Pleiades group of stars.
“In recent years, our effort has been expanded from making good products to delivering distinctive value which only Subaru can bring to customers. This change in name declares Subaru’s determination to thrive as a brand that delivers value,” said CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga.
While the name change was celebrated in Tokyo and across Subaru’s manufacturing facilities, it’s not the first time it has switched names. Its roots spread back to the Aircraft Research Laboratory, founded in 1917, which was renamed Nakajima Aircraft Factory (after founder Chikuhei Nakajima) in 1918, then it switched to Nakajima Aircraft Company Limited in 1931.
Eager to distance itself from military connotations, it refocused from planes to civilian products in 1945 and renamed itself Fuji Sangyo Co Ltd but a government edict forced it to split into 12 companies in 1950. Five of the 12 companies (Omiya Fuji Kogyo, Tokyo Fuji Sangyo, Fuji Kogyo, Fuji Jidosha Kogyo and Utsunomiya Sharyo) joined together in 1953 to create Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Even then, in its sixth iteration, it had yet to build a car. Its first production car was the micro-sized Subaru 360 in 1958. – BD Motor News