The Subaru brand originated in 1950s Japan, after the merging of five leading Japanese vehicle manufacturers. Said merger resulted in the incorporation of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., better known as FHI.
In 1954, the Subaru 1500 hit the streets, boasting impressive stability and comfort when compared to the passenger cars of its time. In the years that followed, FHI leveraged insights from its aircraft manufacturing business to produce lighter but highly durable vehicle bodies.
Subaru released its first four-wheel, four-passenger car in 1958. The company named it Subaru 360, but the public gave it the monicker, “Ladybird.” In the 60s, the manufacturer unveiled more noteworthy models like the Sambar minitruck, the New Sambar van, and the sporty two-door R2.
The Subaru Rex, named after the Latin word for “King,” was an instant success with Japanese drivers after its launch in the early 70s. Later in that decade, the manufacturer unveiled its new design for the American market, the Subaru Brat recreational vehicle. The Brat had 4WD, a two-seater cabin, and cargo hold.
In the 1980s, Subaru started making front-engine, front-wheel drive models — creating more cabin space in its increasingly popular minicars and minivans. At the same time, Subaru paved the way for its one-box van, Subaru Domingo — designed for Sunday drives with space for up to seven passengers.
Soon after, Subaru began releasing vehicles with electro-continuously variable transmission (ECVT) technology, which offered drivers the ability to switch gears automatically with unparalleled finesse. In 1989, the Subaru Legacy went on to break the 100,000-kilometer world speed record, traversing over 60,000 miles in just over 447 hours.
In the 90s, Subaru held its place at the forefront of the car manufacturing industry, participating in prestigious events like the F1 American Grand Prix, and unveiling the highly-successful Impreza sports wagon. The automaker’s winning streak continued well into the 00s, with the launch of its signature crossover SUV, the Subaru Forester, and continued improvements to each new Subaru Impreza generation.
In the early 2010s, Subaru celebrated the 40th anniversary of its 4WD vehicles, which accounted for the majority of its vehicle sales in 2012. In 2016, Subaru inaugurated its production plant in the U.S., where it manufactured the first American-made Subaru Impreza. The U.S. demand for the Impreza has only grown since, and so has the popularity of other top-notch Subaru models such as the Subaru Outback SUV, Subaru XV compact SUV, and the Subaru Ascend three-row SUV.
Today, many American drivers know the automaker’s tagline by heart, “Love, it’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.” If you’re one of them, chances are you, your family, and even your furry friends have fallen in love with Subaru, and never plan on looking back (unless it’s with that rearview camera). Whether you own a sporty Impreza or a powerful Forester, at Firestone Complete Auto Care, we want to love your car as much as you do!
Help your Subaru truck, SUV, or coupe love you back with timely Subaru maintenance and expert Subaru repairs. Select your Subaru model and year to find important information such as your Subaru’s manufacturer-approved maintenance schedule, tire info to help support your AWD Subaru’s performance, and your must-have recommended oil change intervals. Whether you’re taking your Subaru Outback on a cross-country road trip or need to have your Subaru XV brakes checked, Firestone Complete Auto Care is your go-to place for Subaru maintenance, Subaru tire services, and Subaru repairs. Learn more and schedule an appointment today.