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Fuji Heavy Industries to become Subaru

Subaru expects to surpass 1 million unit sales for first time in 2016

Published: May 12, 2016, 8:00 AM
Updated: May 16, 2016, 1:38 PM

Subaru headquarters in Mississauga

Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), has decided to change its company name to Subaru Corp., effective tentatively on April 1, 2017.

Now, this proposal by the Board of Directors is either a legit way to cash in on its bread-and-butter operations, or the longest April Fools joke in history, and we’ll know for sure after the shareholders meet at the end of June 2016.

The fiscal year for FHI ends at the end of March, so hence the timing for the name change.

FHI was so named in 1953, following nearly four decades of operations in the aeronautics industry as Aircraft Research Laboratory and then Nakajima Aircraft Co. Since becoming FHI, the company business expanded into aerospace and industrial products, and into automobiles with the introduction of the 1958 Subaru 360 minicar.

The Subaru auto business has expanded to almost all corners of the world and is expected to exceed one million units annually for the first time by the end of the 2016 fiscal year (March 2017), marking a milestone event.

The company has decided to change the company name to reflect its core business on the 100th anniversary of its founding by Chikuhei Nakajima (Nakajima Aircraft was incorporated in 1931). It is hoped the name change will spur the Subaru name to greater growth in both the automotive and aerospace industries.

In 2014, FHI set out a vision, called “Prominence 2020,” for “a high-quality company that is not big in size but has distinctive strength.” The name change will emphasize the core Subaru value of being “a compelling company with a strong market presence built upon its customer-first principle.”