Published on July 24th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair0
Subaru Turns 70 Years Old This Month
Celebrate 70 Years of Subaru: A Journey of Innovation, Adventure, and Sustainability
Subaru Corporation is delighted to announce the momentous occasion of its 70th anniversary on July 15 this year. What started as the Aircraft Research Laboratory in 1917 has evolved into the iconic carmaker we know today with boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel drive at the heart of nearly all their products. Let’s take a quick look back at their past achievements.
From Aircraft Research to Subaru Corporation: A Historic Evolution
Subaru Corporation’s roots can be traced back to the Aircraft Research Laboratory, which eventually became Nakajima Aircraft Co. Ltd. After a series of reorganizations, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. was born on July 15, 1953. Finally, on April 1, 2017, the company proudly adopted the name “Subaru Corporation.”
Diversified Excellence: Automotive and Aerospace Ventures
Throughout its 70-year journey, Subaru Corporation has successfully diversified into various businesses, with automotive and aerospace emerging as the two pillars of the company. While the automotive division has taken center stage, Subaru has also ventured into aerospace, industrial products, eco-technologies, bus manufacturing, and prefabricated housing businesses.
Automotive Brilliance: Pioneering Distinctive Technologies
In 1958, Subaru introduced its first vehicle, the Subaru 360, designed as a compact “people’s car.”
Since then, Subaru has been at the forefront of innovation, introducing iconic vehicles like the Leone, Japan’s first mass-produced all-wheel drive (AWD) car, and the Legacy, which sparked the station wagon boom.
Notable advancements like the EyeSight advanced driver-assist system, and co-developed projects with Toyota Motor Corporation, such as the Subaru BRZ sports car and Solterra battery-electric SUV, have continually redefined customer value.
Subaru’s Motorsport Legacy
The Subaru World Rally Team was one of Japan’s most successful international motorsport teams. Efforts began in the 1980s with Subaru Rally Team Japan but this decade saw limited success. Starting in the 1990s, the team entered their first Prodrive developed cars and saw immense success. Starting in 1993, we got the instantly recognisable blue-and-yellow Subaru rally cars with “State Express 555” livery. Subaru’s success in this field continued for decades until the company pulled itself out in 2008 following the Global Economic Recession.
Global Support and Recognition
Subaru’s commitment to excellence has garnered immense support from customers worldwide. In 2021, the company reached a remarkable milestone of producing 20 million AWD vehicles, solidifying its position as a leader in the field. The EyeSight-equipped Subaru vehicles also achieved impressive global sales of 5 million units in 2022, a testament to their cutting-edge safety technology.
Soaring High in Aerospace
While the automotive business has soared to great heights, Subaru’s aerospace division has also played a crucial role in advancing aviation technology. From the first flight of Japan’s inaugural jet plane, the T-1, in 1958, Subaru has actively participated in domestic and international joint development programs. Their involvement in defense programs, commercial projects like the Boeing 787, and helicopter programs such as the UH-2 showcases Subaru’s unwavering commitment to aerospace excellence.