Japanese auto manufacturer Subaru is a part of Fuji Heavy Industries, a Japanese transportation company. Subaru became famous through its use of its iconic "boxer engine layout," which was also used in popular vehicles such as the Porsche 911 and the Volkswagen Beetle, as well as most Subaru vehicles of the time. The company is also famous for offering all-wheel-drive on all of its models as standard since its creation in 1972. Subaru designed this technology, which is today coveted in tough weather markets, especially snowy ones. In 1996, Subaru released this technology to other companies to introduce in their mid-size and small cars across the globe. Subaru also offers turbocharged variants of many of its standard passenger vehicles. The Impreza WRX is one example of this. Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, is presently part of a small union with Toyota.
Subaru competes in somewhat of a niche market, as it does not have any truly direct competition. Subaru competes with all automakers globally, as its vehicles are very unique, but its models do directly compete with distinct models within the same class. Audi, Toyota, and Volvo are all working on Wagons to challenge the Subaru, but these are more expensive than Subaru's popular Outback wagon. The Subaru WRX STI is a truly niche car, as one would have a hard time finding its direct competitor, although it could perhaps be the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Both of these vehicles feature AWD, turbochargers, and are 4-doors.
Subaru truly began as a company when Fuji Heavy Industries' CEO in the early 1950s, Kenji Kita, desired to have the company participate in auto manufacturing. He began planning this vehicle with the code name "P-1," and although he asked many people around the company how he could re-name the vehicle, he couldn't find a name he admired enough. He decided to give the vehicle a defining Japanese name that was close to his heart, "Subaru," which is the name of the famous Pleiades cluster of stars. The P1 was only produced in 20 units due to the fact that the FHI had a hard time finding suppliers for the new vehicle in the Post-War economy. The original Subaru to make it to production was named the Subaru 1500 in 1954. From that point on, the company designed many unique automobiles, including the 1958 Subaru 360 (air-cooled), the 1961 Subaru Sambar, the Subaru 1000 (which was the first to include the new 1965 boxer engine), the 1969 Subaru R-2, the 1971 Subaru Rex and Leone, the 1978 Subaru BRAT, the 1985 Subaru Alcyone, the 1989 Subaru Legacy, the 1993 Subaru Impreza, the 1997 Subaru Forester, the 2005 Subaru Tribeca, and the 2008 Subaru Exiga.
Subaru continues to grow with every year and attracts large families and sporty outdoorsmen alike with its unique products. The new Subaru lineup includes the 2012 Subaru Impreza sedan, the 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX wagon, the 2012 Subaru Legacy, the 2012 Subaru Outback, the 2012 Subaru Forrester SUV, and the 2012 Subaru Tribeca Crossover.