Subaru’s China Division Denies Dissolution Rumor

In response to recent rumors that Subaru China, a joint venture automobile brand, is considering withdrawing from the Chinese market, an official statement was issued on August 30, denying the rumor and reaffirming its close attention to the Chinese market.

According to Subaru China’s statement, since 2021, Outback, Subaru Brz, Forester and other new and modified models have been introduced one after another. At the same time, Solterra, a pure electric SUV model, will also be introduced to meet the needs of Chinese consumers.

Subaru Automobile (China) Co., Ltd., is owned by Subaru and Pangda Group, holding 60% and 40% of shares respectively. The latter is a well-known large automobile dealer and one of the top 500 enterprises in China.

In September 2013, Pangda Group announced that it would directly manage all Subaru specialty stores in China from October 1 of that year. The joint venture has been fully responsible for the sales, marketing and after-sales services of Subaru’s imported vehicles in the Chinese market.

Although it is a joint venture, Subaru China does not have a production line in China, and all models are imported. Since it officially entered the Chinese market in 2004, Subaru’s car sales have been rising, reaching a peak of 57,000 vehicles in 2010. Subsequently, the brand’s sales collapsed, with less than 20,000 vehicles sold in 2021 and only 9,822 vehicles imported in the first half of 2022, down 36.38% year-on-year.

At the same time, the cooperation between Subaru China and Pangda Group is coming to an end, which is also the origin of the rumor of Subaru China’s dissolution.

According to an announcement issued by Pangda Group on August 26, Subaru required Pangda Group to transfer its 40% equity in Subaru China, worth 265 million yuan ($38.4 million). At present, the court has passed the request and asked Pangda Group to implement the transfer of equity within 30 days after the ruling was made. This means that Subaru China will become a 100% wholly foreign-owned brand in the Chinese market.

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At present, Subaru China’s domestic models are all imported. Therefore, many people in the industry believe that Subaru China’s sales mode is difficult to help it complete market expansion, because it is almost a must for global car companies to start localization in China with a complete industry chain, strong policy boosts, and great market demand.