The Subaru Brand and it's History
Subaru means “unite” in Japanese and it refers to the six stars on the logo that stand for the 6 companies that are united under the FHI group. The largest of the stars represents Fuji Heavy Industries. The company started out in 1917 in Japan as a aircraft research laboratory but soon moved to producing airplanes.
After WWII, the Subaru created a scooter, the Fuji Rabbit with the spare parts that came from airplanes. Soon, the company split up into different business that manufactured scooters, coaches, engines and chassis. Kenji Kita, the CEO decided that it would be a great idea to get involved in car making and the first Subaru car was created, the Subaru 1500 (1954).
The 1500 or P1 was followed by the 360 in 1958, the Sambar in 1961, the 1000 in 1965, the 1100 and the R2 in 1969. Subaru of America was started in 1968 by two entrepreneurs, Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm. During the 70s, the Leone came out and then later, in the 80s, the Alcyclone (1985) and the Legacy (1989) were added to the Subaru line-up.
Slowly, in the 90s, the company moved away from the manufacture of small vehicles and concentrated on rally cars, such as the Vivio and Impreza. Using the technology from the aeronautical industry, Subaru employed many successful inventions in the automotive industry. It is the only car manufacturer to offer all-wheel drive as a standard on most of its models. The Japanese manufacturer was also the first to introduce electronic continuously variable transmission (ECTV) which replaces standard gears and gives smooth acceleration while reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Subaru also has an interest in environmental protection, and an extensive recycling program for its own cars, not to mention the program for hybrid and fuel efficient cars.