What are Subaru’s automotive core technologies?Subaru motor vehicles usually feature a boxer engine combined with all-wheel drive. The company has subsequently introduced its ‘Subaru Global Platform’, a car platform for many of its models, including hybrid vehicles. Besides, the introduction of this platform created higher rigidity and lower chassis vibration. The company’s hybrid vehicles were jointly developed with plug-in hybrid experienced Toyota Motor Corporation. The electrification strategy includes a second platform for battery electric vehicles (BEV) in development with Toyota.
Subaru works at developing autonomous driving technologies based on visual cameras, which have partly been implemented in vehicles as driver-assist systems. Likewise, to autonomous systems for cars, Subaru works on autonomous aircraft as well as drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV) within its aerospace business. The commercial drone market is expected to grow substantially in Japan.
Joint developments in commercial and defense aerospace manufacturingIn the commercial sector, Subaru has worked with Boeing on joint developments for airplanes. Examples are the 777, 787 Dreamliner, and the new 777X, for which Subaru builds the center wings, amongst other parts. Apart from airplanes, Subaru manufactures rotorcrafts, usually also in joint developments: With Bell Textron Inc., USA, Subaru created the commercial helicopter ‘Subaru Bell 412EPX’.
Subaru supplies the defense sector a modified version ordered by the Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD). The ‘New Utility Helicopter’ (New UH or UH-X) is planned to replace the Japan Self-Defense Forces’ (JSDF) most owned helicopter model, the UH-1J, built under license by Subaru’s predecessor Fuji Heavy Industries. To this day, Subaru is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of this, the AH-1S, and other models used by the JSDF.
The aerospace segment has stayed profitable throughout the years. Despite its relatively small size within the corporation - all the more when compared to competitors like Mitsubishi Heavy Industries or Kawasaki Heavy Industries - Subaru ranks among Japan’s leading defense suppliers.