Subaru of New England Announces 50th Anniversary Celebration Year In 2021!

March 23, 2021, Norwood, MA -- Today, Subaru of New England (SNE) announced its 50th Anniversary celebrations for 2021. Throughout the year, SNE will be hosting exclusive events with its Retailers, featuring compelling social media posts, and launching 50th Anniversary content in New England. These elements will highlight the company's rich history and key moments that contributed to its success 50 years later.

"It's a significant achievement for Subaru of New England to reach this 50th Year milestone in the automotive industry," stated Chief Executive Officer Ernie Boch Jr. "It's my honor to be at the helm of this incredible brand. As CEO, along with my indispensable team, we've mapped out a clear course for Subaru of New England well into the future. I'm extremely proud of Subaru of New England's accomplishments as we establish ourselves as the third best-selling nameplate in New England for the seventh consecutive year."

"I'm proud to be part of this winning team," emphasized Executive Vice President & General Manager Jeffrey T. Ruble. "Over the past half-century, our brand and vehicles have evolved significantly - and the momentum continues! This year alone, we are launching the all-new 2022 BRZ, 2022 WRX, and 2022 Subaru Forester and Outback Wilderness editions. As we plan for the next 50 years and beyond, we will continue to provide New Englanders safe, trustworthy, and long-lasting vehicles and demonstrate that we are More Than A Car Company by striving to live the Subaru Love Promise each day."

Company History
Established in 1971 by Ernie Boch, Subaru of New England has exclusive distributor rights for Subaru vehicles and parts in the six states of New England. The year 2021 marks its Golden Anniversary - 50 established years as a privately owned automotive distributorship. From its humble beginnings, SNE has continued to grow and succeed over the past 50 years. As of 2021, Subaru is the third best-selling nameplate in New England for the seventh consecutive year.

Subaru Brand

Fuji Heavy Industries (renamed Subaru Corporation in April 2017) traces its roots to the Nakajima Aircraft Company, a leading Japanese aircraft manufacturer. By 1950, Nakajima was known as Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), and FHI was incorporated on July 15, 1953 when five Japanese companies, known as Fuji Kogyo, Fuji Jidosha Kogyo, Omiya Fuji Kogyo, Utsunomiya Sharyo, and Tokyo Fuji Sangyo, joined together. The Subaru name means ''unite'' in Japanese. The company's logo is the six stars in the constellation Pleiades, or "Subaru" in Japanese.

Throughout New England, people choose Subaru for its safety, longevity, and value. Its all-wheel drive vehicles give them the confidence to take their loved ones (pets included!) on adventures, regardless of weather conditions. In fact, Subaru has received more IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards than any other brand since 2013 as of February 2021.

As part of the Subaru Love Promise, Subaru and its Retailers are committed to making the world a better place. Through monthly community initiatives with a diverse range of organizations, Subaru has shown that it is More Than A Car Company. Learn more about the Subaru Love Promise.

Pivotal Moments for Subaru

1968 - 1988

The first Subaru - the 360 -  reached the United States in May 1968. Priced at $1,290, it was $300 cheaper than the similar-looking Volkswagen Beetle and was 1,000 pounds lighter. This made it exempt from federal safety standards, and the car was required to meet only the less-stringent standards of individual states. In contrast to the company's modern reputation for safety, Consumer Reports rated the 360 as ''unacceptable'', which quickly affected sales.

In 1978, the company debuted the BRAT (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter) to meet the demand for small pick-up trucks in the U.S. A notable owner of a BRAT was President Ronald Reagan.

In 1981, the company was an inadvertent beneficiary of a MITI trade agreement between Japan and the U.S., whereby Japan voluntarily agreed to limit the number of cars sent to the United States. With supply restricted, Subaru added features and raised the average price of its cars from $6,000 to $8,000. At this time, Subaru of America (SOA) became highly profitable; however, it was an unsustainable position for the company.

In the early years, Subaru sold distributor franchises to investors across the country, resulting in a total of 13 distributors nationwide (including Subaru of New England). In subsequent years, SOA bought out most of the original distributors, with the exceptions of Subaru of New England and Subaru Distribution Corp., which covers NY and parts of NJ.

1989 - Manufacturing in the U.S.

In 1989, Subaru, together with Isuzu, opened a factory in Lafayette, Indiana called Subaru-Isuzu Automotive, Inc., or SIA. The plant initially produced the Subaru Legacy and Isuzu Rodeo. In 2001, FHI purchased the Isuzu holding for $1 and renamed the factory as Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. From 2007 until 2016, SIA also produced the Toyota Camry under license.

In 2003, SIA became the first automotive assembly plant to be designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. In 2004, SIA became the first automotive manufacturing facility in the U.S. to reach zero-landfill status.

1989 - 1992

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Subaru signaled an evolution to its positioning with the introduction of sporty coupe models: the XT in 1986 and the SVX in 1992. The Legacy model, a clear upscale move for the brand, was introduced in 1989.

1995 - 2005

In 1995, in response to the growing trend for SUVs, SOA launched the Outback - the "World's First Sport Utility Wagon". Supported by a marketing campaign using Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan, the Outback model helped Subaru sales in the U.S. recover.

General Motors took a 20 percent share in FHI from 1999 - 2005. In 2004, GM's subsidiary Saab sold a version of Fuji's Subaru Impreza - the 9-2x - built by FHI in Japan. In 2005, Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) paid approximately $300 million to GM for 68 million shares, equal to an 8.7 percent stake in Fuji. In 2007, TMC paid $311 million to raise its stake in Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries to 16.5 percent. This partnership led to Toyota production by FHI and the development of the BRZ/FRS/86 sports car that debuted in 2012.

The introduction of the WRX to the U.S. in 2001 revived attention in the brand. In 2002, looking to further expand its offerings, the company developed the Baja model, an open bed pick-up, based on the Legacy.

2006 - 2021

In late 2006, a new creative agency, Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch, was hired and a new set of emotionally charged advertisements followed. Instead of buying a Super Bowl slot, the company sponsored Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl.
From 2007, the company readjusted pricing in order to protect residual values, and Subaru vehicles grew in size to better reflect U.S. tastes. New models, Crosstrek and BRZ, were added to the lineup. Focusing advertising on safety, reliability, versatility, and performance, Subaru sales in the 12 years from 2007 - 2019 have risen consecutively from below 200,000 to over 600,000 vehicles per year.

In 2017, Subaru launched a new 3-row SUV - the Subaru Ascent. The largest Subaru vehicle ever produced, the Ascent offered flexible seating for up to 8 passengers. This was the first Subaru vehicle to incorporate Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology as a standard feature, and had the brand's highest towing capacity (up to 5,000 pounds).

Join The Celebration

Subaru of New England is dedicating 2021 to celebrating its 50th Anniversary - 50 years of love here in New England. Subaru has come a long way from its American debut with the Subaru 360, deemed "unacceptable" by Consumer Reports. Today, Subaru is a leader in the industry, known for its safety and all-wheel drive vehicles.

In honor of this half-century milestone, Subaru of New England invites you to join the celebration! On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, tag @SubaruOfNewEngland and use the hashtag #SNE50 to share Subaru stories, journeys, and more. Here's to the next 50 years and beyond!