The move comes just as Subaru celebrates 50 years of business in the United States, and more than 40 in Canada.
In a move that seems long overdue, Fuji Heavy Industries is officially changing its name simply to Subaru Corporation as of April 1, 2017. While most famous as an automaker, FHI also produces aircraft, helicopters, and commercial engines.
“This change in company name declares Subaru’s determination to thrive as a brand that delivers value. When customers are satisfied, we see happy faces. We want to encourage even more smiles and create even more Subaru fans,” company President and CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said.
The company believes uniting under the Subaru moniker can help global growth by improving brand recognition It’s also certainly less confusing than currently needing to explain that the automaker has a parent company with a completely different (and rather generic) name.
FHI announced its intention to switch to Subaru Corp. in October 2016. However, the firm need approval from investors before making the change.
The history of the company that’s now Subaru Corp. is rather convoluted. The firm started with the Nakajima Aircraft Company. In 1945, it switched from building planes to producing consumer goods, and the corporation's name became Fuji Sangyo at that time. In 1950, a law in Japan split the business into 12 separate companies. Five of these new firms then founded Fuji Heavy Industries in 1953.
Later in the ‘50s, the FHI decided to enter Japan’s burgeoning auto industry. The company’s CEO at the time decided on the name Subaru – Japan’s name for the Pleiades cluster of stars. The title and later the emblem references the five companies coming together to form a single larger one.
Subaru has been building steam in the auto industry over the last decade, particularly in the United States. As of February 2017, the company has reported 63 consecutive months of yearly month-over-month growth, and there have eight consecutive years of annual sales records.
Subaru is keeping its lineup fresh in the U.S. (and Canada) by refreshing the Crosstrek and Legacy. In the near future, the company is also adding a three-row crossover to the range. The company has also started celebrating its 50th anniversary of operations in America and has promised to introduce special edition vehicles for the 2018 model year.