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July 7, 1953 – Subaru is established

On this day in 1953 Fuji Heavy Industries Co., Ltd (FHI) established the Subaru name, going on to produce the first Subaru in 1954. Subaru is the name for the Pleiades star cluster, shown on the Subaru logo. The six stars represent the six companies that merged together to create FHI. The first Subaru car, the P-1, also known as the 1500, only saw 20 production models.  The first mass produced Subaru, the Subaru 360, hosted a 16 hp engine that got 66 miles per gallon. The car was known in Japan as the “people’s car,” as it was the first affordable personal vehicle in the country. It would later earn the nickname “ladybug.” By the end of the 1970s the 360 was upgraded to a 36 hp engine that could hit 50 miles per hour, in 37 seconds that is. Subaru’s first major success in the USA was the release of the Brat in 1977. This El Camino style vehicle featured two seats in the cabin, as well as two rear facing seats in the bed. This allowed the vehicle to be insured in a category other than a sports car, as that is what most two seaters are, making them even more affordable to consumers. Today Subaru is a leader in AWD vehicles, crossovers and small SUVs. PhotosThe first Subaru, a P-1A Subaru 360Subaru Brat

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