The Origins of Subaru
Subaru is the Japanese name for Pleiades, a collection of stars which form the shoulder of the Taurus constellation. Six of these stars are visible to the naked eye, but through a telescope approximately 250 bluish stars can be seen. Subaru is also the Japanese term for ‘unite’.
The origins of the maker of Subaru vehicles, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), date back to the 1917 founding of the Nakajima Aircraft Co. Ltd., in its day the largest aircraft manufacturer in Asia. After World War II, the Nakajima Aircraft Company was reorganised as Fuji Sangyo Co. Ltd. The company was then divided into twelve separate companies in 1950 and shortly thereafter, on 15 July 1953, five of those companies merged to form Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. The aircraft technology and expertise gained from the Nakajima Aircraft Co. Ltd. was refocused to produce cars, with the very first being the Subaru 360.
Today, FHI is still actively involved in the aeronautical industry, its activities include helicopter construction for the Japanese Defence Force and Coast Guard. FHI is the only attack helicopter manufacturer in Japan, and has also played significant international aeronautical roles as the company built the centre wings for the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner airliners.
In 2013, FHI celebrated 60 years of operation in Japan.