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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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Subaru SA sold off to Toyota

2010-09-03 07:31

Toyota Tsusho has taken over Subaru Southern Africa. Don’t expect STI marketing with Buddy the Boxer though...

Subaru Southern Africa has come into the Toyota fold as Barloworld sold off its remaining shareholding this week.

The deal sees Barloworld exit its position as a niche vehicle importer, allowing the group to focus on its key business.

Toyota Tsusho Corporation (the business and procurement support arm of Toyota) has now taken full control of Subaru’s local operations as it acquired the remaining 50% stake Barloworld held. The transaction was concluded for an undisclosed sum.

Toyota Tsusho gained its original 50% share in Subaru Southern Africa back in November 2008.

Despite Barloworld specialising in fleet service, leasing, rental and new vehicle retail it was never able to thread Subaru’s local volumes (which remain small) through its value chain – especially the fleet and rental businesses.

Therefore the decision was made to exit its position as Subaru importer and distributor.

Subaru’s local operations should be largely unaffected by the change in ownership of the business as Toyota Tsusho’s had a managing director on board since 2008, to ensure a level of familiarisation with the local market and customer profile.

Toyota owns 16.5% of Fuji Heavy Industries, which controls Subaru.

The two car manufacturers are involved in a joint-venture sports car project unveiled as the FT-86, combining Subaru's signature horizontally opposed engine architecture expertise and Toyota's rear-wheel drive knowledge.

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