Thinking Big: new law opens path for Toyota takeover of Subaru

Toyota has been eying a takeover of Fuji Heavy Industries – Subaru's parent company – for some time now. When General Motors ditched its 20 percent stake in Fuji back in October 2005, Toyota snapped up 8.7 percent and the two have been undertaking a series of joint ventures since.

But that wasn't nearly enough for the Toyota Motor giant that's getting closer and closer to the #1 global automaker spot with each passing day. An acquisition of Subaru would bring them even closer, if only they could.

Continues after the jump.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]

The one obstacle standing in Toyota's way until now has been a Japanese law that prohibits any single company from controlling more than half of the domestic market for any particular product – automobiles, in this case. Between the two of them, Toyota and Subaru commanded a hefty 45.6 percent of the Japanese car market in 2006, and that's mighty close to the limit. However, new Japanese anti-trust laws taking effect in April will refocus the criteria on the company's global market share instead of domestic, in a bid to help Japanese companies compete in export markets.

We'd expect Toyota and Fuji to take advantage of this move by the Japanese government. Corporate maneuvering aside, the potential for Subaru's influence on Toyota products has us daydreaming of serious STi-ness trickling down through the entire Toyota line-up.

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