It's owned by Japanese company Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI). In 1968, Nissan was obliged to buy a 20% stake in the firm by the Japanese government. In 1999, when Nissan relinquished its share, GM took it. After a few collaborations, GM left and Toyota subsequently obtained a small part of the company.
So what are they making presently?
Impreza/WRX/XV: Just over 300,000 of this compact model were made in 2016. The fifth generation has just arrived and it is the best selling model in the range.
Legacy: The mid-sized model (called a Liberty in Australia) is the next best selling model coming in just under the 300,000 mark. The sixth generation is a mid-sized car in classification.
Forester: A compact crossover now in its fourth genesis, it is based on the Impreza platform. Nearly a quarter of a million were made in 2016.
Levorg: As names go, this one is unusual. It sounds like an alien species in the sci-fi world. Having been around since 2014, this mid-sized model could be considered a touring version of the Legacy.
BRZ: The sports car 2-door coupé model was introduced in 2012, made in conjunction with the Toyota 86. Sales are modest but the tie-up with Toyota makes it worthwhile.
Exiga: A compact crossover utility vehicle sold only in Japan and Australia. It seems related to the Impreza and sells in tiny numbers.
Mini cars: They are sold only in Japan as Kei sized vehicles.
Summary: Many of the models seem to be of a similar size and are variants of the Impreza or Liberty. Cost effective and cleverly marketed, they get the most out of a limited R&D budget Subaru would have to work with. They are heavily dependent on North America, where two out of every three cars are sold. That is a record high, in contrast to the record low for domestic sales of just 15%.
The company needs a broader sales footprint, but having Toyota as a shareholder -albeit modestly so - will no doubt bring confidence to the company as it moves forward. It is a niche manufacturer that uses its point of difference to great effect.
Picture source: Netcarshow.
Data source: Subaru.
Text source: RayCee.