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Subaru is the automobile manufacturing division of Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (FHI).
Subaru is known for their use of boxer engines in most of their vehicles. The company decided to utilize AWD in most international markets as standard equipment in 1996.
Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, is currently in a partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation, which owns 8.7% of FHI.
The company is named after the star cluster Pleiades; in Japanese the name is "Subaru", which roughly translated into English means, "to govern", "unite," or "gather together". The company logo reflects the star design. In Japan, it also goes by the name Mutsuraboshi ("Six Stars"), under which title it appears frequently in very old Japanese documents such as Kojiki and Man'yo-shu- and literature such as Makura no So-shi.
FHI started out as "The Aircraft Research Laboratory" in 1917 headed by Chikuhei Nakajima. In 1931, the company was reorganized as "Nakajima Aircraft Company, Ltd", the main airplane manufacturer for Japan in WWII.