If you are a fan of Toyota or Subaru or maybe even both, then you will understand why so many people are interested in both of these companies. Toyota is known for its reliability and its amazing resale value. Subaru on the other hand, are known for their beauty and stylish cars. You could say that Toyota is the more reliable and affordable version of the stylish and upscale Subaru. With two car companies that seem so different, is there a tie that links them together? As in, does Toyota really own Subaru?
You are not the first to ask this question and you will also not be the last. The details to these questions are a little more complicated, so let’s dive into that now.
Is Subaru really owned by Toyota?
The quick and short answer to that is: yes. The more complicated answer is: yes, sort of. Toyota owns a large stock in Subaru, about 20% (as of now) to be exact. This is a three percent increase from the 17% they recently had.
On Toyota’s side, the maker of both Forester and Outback wagons also has a stake in Toyota. This, in turn, strengthened their capital ties and collaboration with Subaru.
The three percent increase may not seem like a lot to some people, but it was actually quite costly. That three percent increase in stock costs Toyota about 75 billion yen. In US dollars, that is $700 million, yes, you read that right. $700 million, let that sink in for a bit…
Toyota plans to make its partner Sabura an equity affiliate and they hope to bring sales and profit from the company onto its income statements.
What does all of this mean?
Toyota is the bigger manufacturer. Toyota has 10.6 million cars and trucks that were produced in 2018 alone. Their partner, Subaru, made about 1 million vehicles in 2018. This may seem like a lot of cars but Subaru has actually been dropping in production. They had a decline of 5% which was their first drop in seven years.
Toyota is boosting its investment in Subaru to about one-fifth of Subaru. That is quite an investment and there is no telling if this is just the beginning.
If you are wondering if your car is fully made by Subaru or if it has some Toyota influence on it, the best thing to do is ask your dealership salesman. They should be knowledgeable in this department and they will give you the most honest answer since they know first hand.
Some drivers are Subaru enthusiasts and will not want to buy a vehicle unless they know for a fact that it is purely made by Subaru, and anything less will not do. However, other drivers and fans do not mind the hybrid as much because they respect and like Toyota as a company as well.
Some customers do wonder about the future of Subaru as Toyota seems to be gaining more and more power within the company by investing their stocks.
What is your stance on this?
Would you buy a vehicle knowing that Toyota had a hand in creating it? Or does it not matter to you?
The history of Toyota and Subaru | How it all started…
As with all stories, there is a beginning. The story of Toyota and Subaru started way back in 2005. That was the year in which Toyota first took a stake in Subaru. They believed in the company and also saw a way to profit.
Despite having high hopes, Toyota understood the risks that they were taking. They saw their other carmaker competitors such as Volkswagen investing in other companies or creating partnerships with other companies, and some of them do not yield fruitfully.
Whenever a new business deal is drawn, all anyone can do is hope for the best because it is a risk after all. With all risks, there is a chance for a downfall.
Toyota understands that the world is changing and is moving towards a more sustainable future. In order to move forward, they have started to invest in electric and autonomous vehicles. These include fuel-cell and hybrid cars as well as data-sensitive connected cars.
They are well aware that this is what the world wants and they are more than happy to provide. Since Toyota seems to always be one step ahead, it is safe to assume that they are also pulling their partner, Subaru, along with them.
According to Tatsuo Yoshida, the auto analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, Toyota knows what they are doing.
He comments, “This is part of Toyota’s recent efforts to find allies. They’re getting ready for the next era that includes self-driving technology. Toyota is taking a 360-degree view.”
Whether you are a fan of Toyota or not, it is hard to argue against the company’s success both in the past, in the present, and most likely in the future.
What makes Toyota’s business plans so interesting is that they are taking the path less traveled. Unlike other big car companies that choose to connect with bigger companies, they choose to invest in smaller, more domestic automakers.
Subaru is one of those companies that have benefited. Of course, investing in the company means that Subaru will have to give some of their money to Toyota but the partnership seems to benefit both sides.
What are your thoughts on this partnership? Who do you think benefits more from this partnership-Toyota or Subaura?
As mentioned above, this partnership or investment started back in 2005 and it is still going strong almost fifteen years later. Do you think they will last another fifteen years?
Or do you think Toyota will soon take over Subaru completely? Or do you think Subaru, getting as much support from Toyota as they can, will eventually be able to stand on their own and buyback Toyota’s share of their company?
Or maybe, just maybe the two will start to forge partnerships with other companies? The possibilities are truly endless and watching it all unfold is quite interesting and also informative as well.
There is no saying what 2020 will have in store for both Toyota and Subaru but if history is any indication, then we can safely assume that these two car companies are on the right track.
The Conclusion | Where they are today.
So where does that leave Toyota and Subaru today? Well, we are happy to announce that the two-car companies are still doing business together. It does not look like either side wants to break their partnership any time soon.
Both Toyota and Subaru want to improve and make the all-wheel-drive bigger (not literally) and better. The all-wheel-drive has been a great strength of Subaru vehicles and hopefully, Toyota will help them improve it.
Both Toyota and Subaru have plans to work on the Toyota 86 as well as the BRZ models together.
As far as partnerships go, these two companies seem to be doing quite well. We cannot wait to see what Toyota and Subaru will put out in the future as a team, and also as individual car companies.