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They say that you can tell a New Zealander from an Australian by the way they say “Subaru”. Kiwis, the saying goes, pronounce it “Su-BAA-ru” because of all the sheep in New Zealand, while Aussies say “Su-ba-ROO” on account of the kangaroos. Is this true? Well, maybe.

Subaru is the automobile manufacturing division of large Japanese transportation mega business Fuji Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (FHI). FHI started out as “The Aircraft Research Laboratory” in 1917 for Japan. In 1931, the company became “Nakajima Aircraft Co., Ltd”. After World War Two, it became “Fuji Sangyo Co, Ltd”. Some more changes took place until eventually it became known as “Fuji Heavy Industries”. Early on, Kenji Kita, the CEO of Fuji Heavy Industries, wanted the new company to be involved in car manufacturing, and chose the name Subaru to grace its first car which was the Subaru P1. The word “Subaru” comes from the Japanese word for “unite”. The Subaru logo is the star cluster Pleiades.

The Subaru P1 was launched in 1954. In 1965, Subaru was the first Japanese car maker to offer front-wheel drive passenger cars in Japan. Another significant moment for Subaru was in 1972, when Subaru introduced the first four-wheel drive passenger cars in the world. Subaru continues to lead the way in both the design and production of four wheel drive cars. Significant models that came from the Subaru stable were the 360 (1958), the Sambar (1961), the 1000 (1965), the 1100 and the R2 (1969), the Subaru Leone (1971, 1975 and 1977), the Subaru Domingo (1983), the Subaru Alcyone (1985) and the Legacy (1989).

In the 1990s, the company moved away from small commercial vehicles and concentrated on the development of mainstream passenger car models, starting with the Legacy and including the controversially styled six-cylinder SVX and the Impreza. With the rise of rally racing, Subaru introduced the Subaru Impreza WRX, which has had great success on the rally scene. This success has also brought with it a large following of Subaru Impreza consumers. The Forester is also an interesting model that was produced for light off-roading, gravel roads and forestry tracks.

Subaru owners in Australia would be the least likely people to be off to the local car dealers to purchase another car marque. Subaru has been ranked the favourite brand of Australian motorists in an independent online survey.’s official news release said that “Subaru drivers appear to be the happiest on our roads, voting their car number one for value, quality, comfort, performance and reliability.”

Those of you who may not fancy the idea of putting your own Subaru through its paces on a rally course can get in touch with “Freeman Experience” Australia for a full day in Adelaide with a WRX STi. For $995.00, you could also experience the same thrill in Melbourne Australia. Or you could just take your own Subaru for a burn – legally! What a great day out! But be warned, The Subaru WRX can seriously snot it!

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