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The Subaru name dates back to 1954 when Kenji Kita, then-CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries, decided to follow his emotions. He named his new automobile line after lights in the heavens. Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster. It was a name he reportedly had “been cherishing in his heart.”
If you’ve ever looked at the vehicles Subaru has sold in the USA since 1968, you might understand how love helped keep the brand alive. They’re well known for delivering vehicle designs that run the gamut from quirky to bizarre.
There may not be a better reason than love for buying a segment-defining (or is that defying) Subaru Brat, an angular XT6, or the high-powered, high-tech, and high-priced SVX. None of those vehicles were created with “mainstream good looks.”
In the 90’s, Subaru kept some love out of the United States. In a heart-breaking move, they made performance enthusiasts in the USA sit and wait from 1993 until March 13th, 2001. That was the day the turbocharged Impreza WRX finally became available. It wasn’t until 2004 that the more powerful STI version was for sale.
But that wait turned out to be worth it. The 2002 WRX came at just the right time to usher in a new generation of affordable Japanese performance cars. Subaru WRX sales exceeded expectations and other manufacturers brought in their high-powered machines to take advantage of this new-found enthusiasm.
Suabru brand loyalty grows stronger by the day. New designs have made in-roads into mainstream buyers’ hearts. Subaru set sales records during the late 2000’s. This was at a time that other brands were experiencing devastating declines.
How appropriate that, in 2010, the car company would advertise with the phrase: “Love. It’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru.”
Share that love by buying a shop manual for your Subie today.
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