Subaru Logo Meaning: History of Seven Sisters Symbol

Subaru is a well-known manufacturer of mass market, affordable and reliable cars. The Japanese car brand is part of Subaru Corporation which was earlier known as Fuji Heavy Industries. Subaru is known for boxer engine and all-wheel-drive configurations which are pretty much standard now in its cars. The brand has an interesting origin and the current Subaru logo has a deep meaning and reference to its history.

Subaru Information

Founded 15 July 1953
FounderKenji Kita
Chikuhei Nakajima
Headquarters Ebisu, Shibuya, Japan
Official website www.subaru-global.com
Owner Subaru Corporation
Subaru Logo Creator Tatsuzo Sasaki

The earliest predecessor of Subaru started operations in 1915 as Aircraft Research Laboratory and gained prominence as an aircraft manufacturer during World War II. The company – now known as Fuji Sangyo – was broken into 12 smaller entities in post-war years under Japan’s anti-zaibatsu laws.

However, five of these companies namely Fuji Kogyo, Fuji Jidosha, Omiya Fuji Kogyo, Utsunomiya Sharyo and Tokyo Fuji Sangyo, came together to invest in a new company named Fuji Heavy Industries. These companies were specialized players in the areas of engine, coach and chassis production and thus, they merged with Fuji Heavy Industries in 1953 to form an integrated vehicle company. In April 2017, Fuji Heavy Industries changed its name to Subaru Corporation.

Subaru Logo on car

Subaru Logo and its Meaning

When it came to a brand name, the erstwhile Fuji Heavy Industries CEO Kenji Kita selected Subaru which is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster M45 in the constellation of Taurus. The cluster represents “seven sisters” with one being invisible and thus, Subaru logo has only six stars. The biggest star refers to Fuji Heavy Industries while the smaller stars represent the companies it merged with. It is not only the imagery which suits Subaru logo but also the text which literally means United in Japanese language. This way, Subaru brand name and the logo remind us of the union of its predecessor companies.

It is important to note that the Pleiades star cluster has hot blue stars which go well with the blue background of Subaru logo. However, the blue background is a relatively new addition to the logo as the company has experimented with transparent as well as with solid color backgrounds.

The silver colored stars are contained in a blue oval which has a silver outline. The blue color in Subaru logo indicates reliability and excellence of its vehicles.

Subaru Emblem on car

Subaru Logo Evolution

The original logo of the automaker depicted an accurate configuration of the stars but gave the emblem a rather cluttered view. In the subsequent years, the logo has seen changes to the color of stars and background which also included golden colored stars and red background.

Subaru Symbol 1958

Over the years, Subaru has retained the original idea of six stars but it has tinkered with the design elements of stars, their size and placement. As a result, the biggest star has moved to the upper left side of the oval while the other stars are neatly placed in the bottom right corner. In these years, the oval has become more flattened, just like the evolution of Ford emblem.

Old Subaru Logo

Subaru’s Connection with Aerospace

The company started as an aircraft manufacturer and it has preserved its heritage. Even now, it operates an aerospace division that makes Boeing and Lockheed Martin helicopters and airplanes under license.

Partnerships with Nissan, GM and Toyota

At different times, Subaru has had other automakers as prominent shareholders. In 1968, Nissan acquired a 20.4% equity stake in Fuji Heavy Industries as a result of government-ordered restructuring to enhance competitiveness.

Following the merger between Nissan and Renault, Nissan’s stake in FHI was acquired by General Motors (GM) in 1999. This also resulted in a few badge engineered models.

After GM’s exit in 2005, Toyota stepped in as a capital partner for FHI and both the companies have since then collaborated on a multitude of automotive projects.

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