Subaru Revealed: Is it a Japanese or Korean Car Brand?

Subaru is a popular car brand known for its rugged and reliable vehicles, such as the Outback and Impreza. But when it comes to the origins of the brand, there has been some confusion. Is Subaru a Japanese car brand or is it from Korea? In this article, we’ll delve into the history of Subaru and explore any potential Korean connections.

The Origins of Subaru

Subaru is a Japanese car brand that was founded in 1953. The company’s name is based on the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster, which is also depicted in the Subaru logo. The brand’s first car, the Subaru 1500, was introduced in 1954.

Throughout the years, Subaru has gained a reputation for producing tough and versatile vehicles that are perfect for off-road adventures. The brand’s vehicles, such as the Forester and Crosstrek, are known for their all-wheel-drive, which is a feature that is particularly valuable in snowy or muddy conditions.

Any Korean Connections?

Despite being a wholly Japanese brand, there have been some rumors that Subaru has had connections to Korean car manufacturers. While these rumors are not unfounded, they are not entirely true either.

Subaru has had a relationship with the Korean car brand, Daewoo. In the 1990s, Subaru provided engines to Daewoo for their initial entry into the car market. However, this was a short-lived partnership and did not involve any significant ties between the two brands.

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Additionally, in 2005, General Motors acquired a majority stake in Daewoo, leading to the creation of GM Daewoo Auto & Technology (GM DAT). GM DAT has since been renamed GM Korea and produces cars under the Chevrolet brand.

The Current State of Subaru

Today, Subaru continues to be an entirely Japanese car brand, with its headquarters based in Tokyo. The brand has a reputation for producing high-quality, reliable vehicles that offer excellent value for money.

Subaru’s focus on all-wheel-drive has continued to be a significant selling point, with the company recently announcing plans to electrify its entire range of vehicles. This move towards electric power should help to make Subaru vehicles even more versatile and eco-friendly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Subaru owned by Kia or Hyundai?

No, Subaru is not owned by Kia or Hyundai. Subaru is a wholly Japanese car brand that is part of the Subaru Corporation, which is based in Tokyo.

What is the most popular Subaru car model?

The most popular Subaru car model is the Outback. This vehicle is a crossover SUV that is designed for both on-road and off-road performance.

Does Subaru only produce all-wheel-drive vehicles?

No, while all-wheel-drive is a significant selling point for Subaru, the brand does produce some vehicles that are front-wheel drive only. The most popular of these non-AWD models is the Subaru Impreza.


In conclusion, Subaru is a Japanese car brand with a rich history of producing reliable and versatile vehicles. Despite rumors of Korean connections, there is no substantial evidence to suggest that Subaru has any significant ties to Korea. Subaru’s focus on all-wheel-drive continues to be a significant selling point, and the brand’s move towards electric power shows that they are committed to remaining at the forefront of the automotive industry.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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