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[Toyota]New Relationship between Toyota and Subaru Beginning
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Old 24 Nov 2005, 10:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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[Toyota]New Relationship between Toyota and Subaru Beginning

By Trevor Hofmann / American Auto Press November 18, 2005

Now that Toyota has purchased General Motors divested 8.7 percent stake in Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru vehicles, Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai business daily has reported the worlds number two automaker will outsource the development and production of a new model to its new partner.

Why would Toyota want Subaru to take on such a project? According to Nihon Keizai, it all comes down to the popularity of the Toyota nameplate and the automakers inability to keep up with its business expansion due to a current shortage of skilled workers.

The deal would also benefit Fuji Heavy, of course, as it will soon be sitting with fewer projects on-hand once its relationship with General Motors is fully dissolved.

Fuji Heavy currently makes the Saab 9-2X, a derivative version of Subarus Impreza wagon, for GM, and had planned to underpin an upcoming Saab crossover with its new B9 Tribeca. Subaru has also canceled its ill-fated Baja crossover wagon cum pickup truck, so therefore production capacity should be available for at least one new joint venture product.

While the new model has yet to be announced, and according to a Toyota spokeswoman the two carmakers are merely "exploring cooperation in development and production", it is expected to be a subcompact vehicle - a specialty of the Subaru brand. That vehicle could be a version of the spunky little Subaru R2 or for its general shape and layout at least, something along the lines of the R1e.

Toyota currently enjoys similar cooperative projects with other automakers, such as the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe crossover wagons and the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107 and CitroŽn C1 city cars. This last trio is more of what we should expect from the Subaru deal.
its ill-fated Baja crossover wagon cum pickup truck, so therefore production capacity should be available for at least one new joint venture product.

While the new model has yet to be announced, and according to a Toyota spokeswoman the two carmakers are merely "exploring cooperation in development and production", it is expected to be a subcompact vehicle - a specialty of the Subaru brand. That vehicle could be a version of the spunky little Subaru R2 or for its general shape and layout at least, something along the lines of the R1e.

Toyota currently enjoys similar cooperative projects with other automakers, such as the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe crossover wagons and the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107 and CitroŽn C1 city cars. This last trio is more of what we should expect from the Subaru deal.
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