Subaru to drop industrial products, focus on making cars

Subaru, the company formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries, said Monday it is ceasing production of its industrial products after more than 60 years in order to focus on its core automotive business. The change was effective Sept. 30.

“By concentrating management resources on Subaru’s core automotive business, the company will further reinforce its business structure in the aim of substantially enhancing the Subaru brand and achieving even greater sustainable growth,” the company said in a statement.

The move appears to mark the culmination of a steady retrenchment from its industrial business. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. last year announced it was changing its name to Subaru Corp. in order to strengthen the brand and focus on its core automotive and aerospace business. It also moved to integrate its Industrial Products Company within Subaru’s automotive business effective Oct. 1, 2016. Subaru is a Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster, and it symbolizes the six companies that merged to form Fuji Heavy Industries in 1953. Subaru’s aerospace division is a contractor for the Japan Defense Agency.

The automaker’s industrial products business began in 1951 when its former Omiya Fuji Industries Co. Ltd. began production of the 540 cc M6 engine. Subaru says its Industrial Products Co. Ltd. affiliate will continue to handle after-sales service of Subaru-built generators, pumps and engines used in construction, agriculture and industrial equipment. The company also says it will cease manufacturing engines for installation in other vehicles as supply contracts expire.

Meanwhile, Subaru is busy reorganizing its plant in Lafayette, Ind., to begin production of the Ascent, a three-row, eight-passenger crossover based on its Viziv-7 concept that debuted late last year.

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