Subaru is the automobile manufacturing division of Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the twenty-sixth biggest automaker by production worldwide in 2011.
Subaru is known for its use of the boxer engine layout in most of its vehicles above 1500 cc as well as its use of the all wheel drive drive-train layout since 1972, with it becoming standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most international markets as of 1996, and now standard in most North American market Subaru vehicles. The lone exception is the RWD BRZ introduced in 2012. Subaru also offers turbocharged versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX.
Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, is currently in a partial partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation, which owns 16.5% of FHI.
Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster (M45, or "The Seven Sisters"), which in turn inspires the Subaru logo and alludes to the companies that merged to create FHI.