An extract on #subaru
Subaru cars are known for the use of a boxer engine layout in most vehicles above 1500 cc. Most Subaru models have used the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive drive-train layout since 1972. The flat/boxer engine and all-wheel-drive became standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most international markets by 1996, and is now standard in most North American market Subaru vehicles. The lone exception is the BRZ, introduced in 2012, which uses the boxer engine but instead uses a rear-wheel-drive structure. Subaru also offers turbocharged versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX and the Legacy 2.5GT. The 2.0XT trims of the Outback and Forester also include a turbocharged engine.
In Western markets, the Subaru brand has traditionally been popular among a dedicated core of buyers. Marketing is targeted towards specific niches centered on those who desire the company's signature drive train engine, all-wheel/rough-road capabilities or affordable sports car markets.
Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster M45, or "The Seven Sisters" (one of whom tradition says is invisible hence only six stars in the Subaru logo), which in turn inspires the logo and alludes to the companies that merged to create FHI.
Fuji Heavy Industries started out as The Aircraft Research Laboratory in 1915, headed by Chikuhei Nakajima. In 1932, the company was reorganized as Nakajima Aircraft Company, Ltd and soon became a major manufacturer of aircraft for Japan during World War II. At the end of the Second World War Nakajima Aircraft was again reorganized, this time as Fuji Sangyo Co, Ltd. In 1946, the company created the Fuji Rabbit motor scooter with spare aircraft parts from the war. In 1950, Fuji Sangyo was divided into 12 smaller corporations according to the Japanese Government's 1950 Corporate Credit Rearrangement Act, anti-zaibatsu legislation. Between 1953 and 1955, four of these corporations and a newly formed corporation decided to merge to form Fuji Heavy Industries. These companies were: Fuji Kogyo, a scooter manufacturer; coachbuilders Fuji Jidosha; engine manufacturers Omiya Fuji Kogyo; chassis builders Utsunomiya Sharyo and the Tokyo Fuji Dangyo trading company.
Kenji Kita, CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries at the time, wanted the new company to be involved in car manufacturing and soon began plans for building a car with the development code-name P-1. Mr. Kita canvassed the company for suggestions about naming the P1, but none of the proposals was appealing enough. In the end he gave the company a Japanese name that he had "been cherishing in his heart": Subaru, which is the name of the Pleiades star cluster in Japanese. The first Subaru car was named the Subaru 1500. Only twenty were manufactured owing to multiple supply issues. Subsequently, the company designed and manufactured dozens of vehicles including the 1500 (1954), the tiny air-cooled 360 (1958), the Sambar (1961), and the 1000 (which saw the introduction of the Subaru boxer engine in 1965).