Though best-known for more than 50 years for its flagship automobile brand, Fuji Heavy Industries maintained its original corporate name right up until its centenary in Spring 2017, at which point it finally became Subaru Corporation. Though cars are its biggest business by far, the company also makes forestry and agricultural machinery, military and commercial aircraft. Its passenger car brands include the Forester, the Outback and the Impreza as well as a range of minivehicles for its domestic market, including the Stella and Pleo. All its cars feature proprietary all wheel drive technology, and Subaru's engines also have horizontally-opposed pistons which move from side-to-side rather than up and down like other manufacturers, reducing vibration and giving the marque a reputation as a sporty, high performance brand. A six-year alliance with General Motors was wound down in 2005, and instead Subaru now has a close working relationship with domestic giant Toyota. Performance has improved significantly as a result, and the group has reported record sales and profits for five of the past six years, underpinned by excellent performance in its biggest market by far, the US. Revenues reached a new high equivalent to $30.7bn for the year to 2018. Total volumes were 1.07m vehicles, including 720,000 cars in North America, a new local record for the company for the 9th consecutive year. Though it ranks as the #25 passenger car brand globally, Subaru is the #8 brand in the US. Its strength there makes up for significant weakness in other markets including China and Europe. Tomomi Nakamura, formerly chairman of the US operation, succeeded Yasuyuki Yoshinaga as group CEO in 2018 after the company admitted vehicle fuel economy and emission data had been manipulated. The company was founded in 1917 by navy engineer Chikuhei Nakajima to design and build military aircraft, and by 1940 Nakajima Aircraft Company was one of Japan's leading manufacturers of warplanes. It was broken up after WWII and re-constituted in 1953 as Fuji Heavy Industries. Its first passenger car was launched in 1958, and named Subaru after the Japanese word for the constellation of stars commonly known as the Pleiades, which still feature in its logo.
Capsule checked 15th June 2018
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Social Media 18th Feb 2019: "For All You Love / Imagination". Carmichael Lynch has unveiled a trio of typically brilliant new campaigns for Subaru. Usually these come in drip-feed installments, but this time they've released all three together. Two are so good - and so different from each other in style - that we couldn't decide which one to pick, so here are both. We are regularly astonished by the consistent quality of the work this agency does for the Japanese carmaker. We're certain it plays a major role in keeping Subaru among the top-selling brands in the US: a feat unmatched in any of that company's other major markets. It's the warmth of its imagination that distinguishes this campaign from any other US auto manufacturers. Long may Carmichael Lynch's reign continue.
Adbrands Social Media 2nd Mar 2018: "See the World". We've always got time for Carmichael Lynch's warm-hearted, often outdoorsy ads for Subaru of America. We're not especially familiar with Subaru here in Europe, but it's now the 8th most popular car brand in the US and agency CL have played a large part in getting it there. Those dog ads are a big crowd-pleaser of course, but it's the emotionally rich human tales that really capture our attention. Here's a fine example; and it's not some creative director's fanciful invention. This is George Wurzel who is in reality a blind artist at the Enchanted Hills Camp in Napa, CA, who takes sighted visitors on sensory tours along local nature trails. Lovely photography and scenery ads to the whole experience.
Adbrands Social Media 20th Feb 2017: We've long admired Carmichael Lynch's excellent ads for Subaru which have helped to make that Japanese carmaker one of America's top 10 marques ahead of better known brands like Dodge or VW. There's a set of three new spots out this week. One of them adapts the same idea they used so successfully a few years ago for their 'Baby Driver' spot, but with a boy instead of that little girl. Nicely done, but it's a shame to recycle your own work. We prefer this clever spot promoting Subaru's safety technology.
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Jul 2016: Ads of the Week: "The Boy Who Breaks Everything". We've remarked before on the consistent excellence of Carmichael Lynch's ads for Subaru, which undoubtedly play a strong role in making the US that carmaker's biggest market by a considerable margin. Always warm and richly emotional, the films place enormous emphasis on family values, firing a sentimental arrow straight to every parent's heart- and purse-strings. Here's another gem, featuring a poor kid with a habit of breaking (almost) everything. Lovely.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Oct 2015: Ads Of The Week "Crossroads". Carmichael Lynch has been performing miracles for years with the Subaru account, delivering a string of ads, each of which is a minor masterpiece. Never showy, just consistently wise, warm and wonderful. Here's the latest. Which path would you follow?
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