Subaru vehicles are built by Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan. The first Subaru automobile, a minicar, was introduced in 1958. The little vehicle was highly successful in Japan because of its low price and operating cost.
In 1968 the Subaru 360 was introduced into the United States, but the vehicle proved to be too small and was replaced by the larger ff-1 series.
The ff-1, or Star as it was known, was a 1.1 liter engine vehicle. Models included a two door and four door sedan, and a station wagon. All models, as they do today, featured a horizontally opposed (flat) water cooled engine, and independent suspension at all four wheels.
Engine size has increased over the years, from 1100 cc to 1800 cc. A four wheel drive unit, a five speed manual transaxle, and an automatic transaxle were all introduced in 1975. The four wheel drive, which engages the rear wheels when required, first appeared in station wagon models.
From the one model of the late sixties, to the restyled models of the 80's, Subaru (which is the Japanese name for the six star constellation we call Pleiades) has increased its sales in the U.S. market until it is now ranked in the upper Top Ten of all imported vehicles.