|September 2, 2002|
|Subaru Commemorates the 30th Anniversary
of It's AWD Vehicles in Japan
�@Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), a global manufacturer of transportation and aerospace-related products and the maker of Subaru automobiles, today announced that this September marks the 30th anniversary of the debut of Subaru all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles in Japan. The Subaru Leone 4WD Estate Van, Japan's first AWD passenger car, was introduced to the market in September 1, 1972. FHI had started mass production of Leone 4WDs at its Gunma plant in July 1972. Since the introduction of the first model, an accumulated total of as many as 3.36 million Subaru AWD vehicles have been sold in Japan.
�@As a pioneer in developing and incorporating AWD systems into passenger cars, FHI has been steadily increasing its sales of AWD vehicles. In the first full year of offering AWD 30 years ago (the fiscal year ending March 31, 1974), Subaru AWD sales amounted to 1,024 vehicles. It took 17 years to reach the one million mark of accumulated AWD car sales in 1989, but the two-millionth-sale milestone was reached in 1995 and the three million mark in 2000, accelerated by the introduction of popular Legacy AWD. Today, annual sales reach close to 200,000. Most recently, 175,760 units were sold during fiscal 2002.
�@The ratio of AWD vehicles to other Subaru vehicle sales is quite high in Japan. According to fiscal 2002 figures, 63% of total Subaru sales including mini cars with under 660-cc engine displacement1 and 88% of sales excluding mini cars were AWD vehicles. Only FHI boasts this high a ratio of AWD in sales, and the popularity of Subaru AWD vehicles also translates into customers' trust into and reliance on the company's expertise in AWD technology.
�@Subaru AWD vehicles were first exported in 1974, and nearly 2.7 million units have been exported so far. As many as 900,000 Subaru AWD cars have been manufactured overseas since 1989.
�@FHI offers AWD systems in all of its vehicles in Japan. It also places emphasis on marketing the concept of Subaru AWD technology overseas, which has consequently yielded sales increases in many markets. Combined with a horizontally opposed engine, a Subaru AWD system forms an ideally simple, perfect symmetry to the right and left in a car, providing superb driving performance and a high level of superior safety under any road conditions, including snowy, slippery roads and winding, mountainous roads. Proven in the triumphant achievements of the Subaru Impreza in the rigorous WRC (World Rally Championship) events, Subaru AWD performance and reliability have been highly praised by our customers, particularly the car enthusiasts who pursue driving pleasure. In the past five consecutive years since 1997, the Legacy has been the best seller among AWD model2 in Japan.
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