Subaru is a Japanese-owned car manufacturing company and is the car manufacturing division of Fuji Heavy Industries. Toyota has a partial ownership stake in Fuji Heavy Industries. Other car manufacturers such as Nissan, General Motors, and Ford have also held stakes in Fuji Heavy Industries at one time or another.

Subaru’s first car produced was the Subaru 1500, originally developed under the name of P1. Subaru of America in the United States did not make it’s entry into the car industry until the late 1960s in Philadelphia. Subaru’s current US headquarters is in Oregon. Subaru and Isuzu opened a joint manufacturing plant in Indiana and Isuzu sold their stake to Subaru, which became Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. This plant is known for its achievement of a zero-landfill production designation and is used as a marketing tool for Subaru in its advertising campaigns.

Subaru first produced the 4X4 feature in 1972 which was very successful. Another marketing tool Subaru has used is to highlight “all wheel drive” in their vehicles. Previous advertisements have focused on Australia and the outback to show the car’s performance in all wheel drive mode.  In 1996, Subaru’s all wheel drive in vehicles became standard equipment for mid-sized and small cars  found in international markets.  This feature is also standard in all of Subaru’s vehicles in the US. The only exception of this is the BRZ, a new model for 2012, which uses rear-wheel drive. Subaru also offer turbocharged engines in many models of their passenger cars.

In the motorsports industry, Subaru has quite an impressive reputation, predominantly in rallying. It was briefly involved in Formula One racing when it partnered with Italian team Coloni but the partnership quickly broke down.  Subaru is still heavily involved in rally racing today.

The Flagship Vehicle

Subaru Legacy - the Legacy is a mid-sized car and has been manufactured since the late 1980s. When Subaru introduced the Legacy in 1989, it was very successful and was considered a new direction for the company.  The Legacy was designed to compete in the American market of mid-sized cars, manufactured in both sedan or wagon styles. It was marketed to be in direct competition with the Toyota Camry. During the last decade, it has gone through many changes and is now called the “Outback”.

Full Size
Mid Size


Subaru has a significant reputation in the car manufacturing industry, albeit the reputation isn’t as common in US households. Over the years however, its market share in the US has steadily risen. A major selling feature of their vehicles is the all wheel drive – a very popular feature among consumers. Subaru is heavily involved in motorsports, primarily in rallying, which makes its name more recognizable. The company has a good range of vehicles for consumers and is changing with trends to produce more electric cars in the future.