• Apr 2nd 2008 at 10:29AM
  • 19

Emerging reports indicate that Toyota is preparing to nearly double its stake in Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries. Toyota initially bought into Fuji when that other automotive giant, General Motors, sold its 8.7% stake to its Japanese rival. The new share-grab, the door to which was opened by revised Japanese laws, would bring Toyota's partial ownership of Fuji up to 17%, just short of double its current stake.

Since Toyota's buy-in of Fuji, cooperation between the two companies has only increased, ranging from new product development to manufacturing. Insiders predict that with the increased stake will come even more integrated collaboration between the two Japanese automakers, which, considering Toyota's enormous success worldwide, can only mean good things for Subaru's operations.

Meanwhile, it's worth noting that with Toyota reportedly considering following Honda into the sky, Fuji's other core business in aerospace could prove an invaluable asset.

[Source: Indianapolis Business Journal via Straightline]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it means the inevitable end to boxer engines. I will be shocked if the next generation Impreza is not built on a Toyota platform. Followed by the Legacy, etc.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The current Tribeca and Impreza are both based on the Legacy chassis, and are newer than the Legacy/Outback.

        The impreza was just redesigned for 08, and the Legacy's next redesign is coming in '10.

        I don't think the '10 Legacy will be based on Toyota chassis architecture. None of them are suitable for Subaru's AWD. If anything, TOYOTAS are going to be built on Subaru chassis, not the other way around.

        I just hope, even with boxers, and AWD, that they aren't blandified any more than they already are. The Tribeca, Impreza, and Forester could almost be called the Highlander, Matrix, and Rav4 respectively already, just looking at exterior styling. (although those toyotas are worse, the Subarus aren't far behind.)
      • 7 Years Ago
      IIRC, GM used to have a 19% stake in FHI, not 8.7%. Toyota's current stake is 8.7%.
      • 7 Years Ago
      this is great news for both subaru and toyota. two great car companies will combine and do great things for the industry. its nice that gm got out of subarus way. Look how they destroyed an automobile company "saab". buy a saab and you will see it in a year at a used car lot for half the money, resale, resale, brand integrity......

      How well would a Toyota/Subaru dealership do? Pretty darn good if you asked me...........
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry, but I'm going to be the contrarian optimist in here. Through hookups with Nissan and General Motors in the past, Subaru maintained its feisty, independent nature. Why should things be any different under Toyota? Subaru's sporting-and-rally personality with the strong backing of blander-yet-über-profitable Toyota is a win-win for both companies.
        • 7 Years Ago
        To add to psarhjinian's comment. If any of you doubt his statement, check out the new optra and then check out the new impreza.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Why? Is toyota like Nissan or GM? Do they frequently take a hands off approach to companies or are they the most scrupulous company in the car industry. Go drive the new STI and the previous generation back to back and you'll get where everyone is coming from.
          • 7 Years Ago
          The new STI was in the pipe long before Toyota got involved.

          If you want to finger anyone for Subaru's current designs and behaviour, you may was well pick on GM, as they were the previous stakeholder in Fuji Heavy around the time these were being developed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a Legacy owner... I am not sure what to make of this.

      The Tribeca, Impreza, and Forester are "me-too" styling excercises, some or all of which were designed by Subaru themselves, not GM, nor now Toyota.

      The Outback is good, but hasn't been improved with new features in some time, same with the Legacy, plus the Legacy's complete anonymity.

      Legacy is the car equivalent to Clark Kent. Plain but handsome outside, strong under the skin, and otherwise completely un-noticed. Somebody at Subaru needs to pull the Legacy out of the phone booth with a Superman suit on.

      The projected cooperation with Toyota on a new Sport Coupe should be used to benefit Subaru, not just Toyota. Subaru chassis, suspension, engine, some drivetrain if the AWD rumors are true, and likely a lot of electrical and other systems are being taken directly from the Legacy or the Impreza, which itself is Legacy based. It seems like Subaru has been helping them a lot with that, and not really concentrating on putting new concepts forward for themselves.

      I would like to see Subaru go back to blazing it's own trail, and doing it well, rather than badly. If they try to follow the leader, they'll only remain last in line.

      They need to differentiate the Tribeca from the rest of the crowd somehow. They need to freshen up the Outback and Legacy with new features and perhaps an inch or two of more rear seat leg room, without ruining what is good about them already.

      They need to re-style the Impreza line, it is far too ugly. I would just as soon they DROP the stupid Impreza sedan. It is completely redundant and uglier than the 2.5i Legacy and 2.5GT Legacy.

      As an alternate version of the Impreza than the 5-door bodystyle, they should bring that 3-door sport coupe to market, as a 2.5RS (non-turbo AWD) and 2.5GT (wrx) turbo coupe. A 2.5 STI turbo coupe with the 08 STI's hardware would be fantastic.

      Let Toyota market the RWD AE86/Celica successor, maybe even a GT4 AWD special version. But sell the AWD coupe as a Subaru line, considering all of Subaru's technical input. RWD is good, and has it's place, but Subaru *IS* AWD, and RWD wouldn't fit in the lineup as well.

      Wheels Magazine in Australia has already printed an article to similar effect that they prefer not to get or try to sell a RWD Subaru coupe without AWD, although the Subaru of Australia exec seemed to eschew any Subaru coupe, which I disagree with.

      Link to Wheels Magazine Article http://www.wheelsmag.com.au/News/Subaru+says+no+to+coupe.html

      The comments on Toyota entering the personal aircraft market seem logical considering FHI's experience with aircraft component manufacturing, and history all the way back to Nakajima (sp?) Aircraft, one of the six stars in the Subaru badge, which represent five companies forging into one larger one, Fuji Heavy Industries.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The impreza does need help...hatch looks like a 10 yr old Daewoo and the sedan a 10yr old Protege. Forester is actually growing on me & from all reports is an extremely capable vehicle. Put a diesel boxer in it & it would be on my shortlist.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Subaru architecture would also lend itself to small RWD cars that enthusiasts love.
      Although boxers are a little more expensive than I4's, they have some sweet packaging potential. I think they'll stay around for a while. Fuji Heavy is a much larger picture than just Subaru.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am currently on my second Legacy in 8 years (92 used, 03 new) and have a 3 month old Tundra. I like the Toyota and the Subaru, but I do not want my next Subaru acting like a Toyota. I like my Subaru just the way it is. Hopefully Toyota won't screw this up, but they are in it for profit and if they lose my money but get money from 3 others they come out ahead....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here goes:
      Why Toyota's investment.
      Transfer of Subaru & FHI technology to all facites of Toyota's other models e.g. Daihatsu, Lexus, F1, etc. Subaru & FHI have technological strengths above many of its competitors. The engineering capabilities to reliably manufacture a boxer engine and an AWD system is key. However, one would question why is Mitsubishi not on the cards... reliable AWD performance systems. I think the focus is on FHI rather than Subaru. Toyota's asperations with F1 requires significant aerodynamic capabilties which I think FHI has.

      Why FHI would accept the new arrangement:
      FHI and Subaru (FHIS) are good engineers, but terrible aesthetic design capabilities. Toyota, although blend in styling, have a reputation of making sales. The FHIS group is expecting to learn more about marketing. If this were the case then I would recommend learning from the German manufacturers who are good with selling gadgets and other gimmicks to sell their product. German styling has also seen non-European markets purchase this vehicle as a status symbol... go figure!

      At this point I cannot see any benefits for FHIS. Perhaps someone out there has a decent answer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      looks like we might see the new Celica Alltrac after all. remember the rumors that it would be a 2 door STI.
      lets just hope its not $35-38K
        • 7 Years Ago
        Seconded, plus a Supra with a turbo boxer six and AWD.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So long to Subaru as we know it. When toyota bought 8% of subaru we where introduced to the horribly designed new impreza and forester i dont even want to know whats going to happen now with a 17% share
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually, those horrible redesigns were courtesy of an Alfa Romeo designer that Subaru chose to bring on... So yeah, not so much it being Toyota's "fault" on that one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      AWD turbo diesel hybrid... Diesel hybrids make it happen!
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