According to the national enterprise credit information publicity system, Subaru Automobile (China) Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Subaru China") has undergone major changes, huge Automobile Trade Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Giant Group") withdrew, SUBARU (hereinafter referred to as "Subaru") became a wholly-owned controlling shareholder, and the type of enterprise changed from a limited liability company (Sino-foreign joint venture) to a limited liability company (wholly foreign legal person).
According to the data, Subaru is an automobile brand of Fuji heavy Industry Co., Ltd., which is one of the top ten automobile companies in Japan, mainly producing cars, as well as aircraft, railway vehicles, engines and so on. Subaru China was founded on March 10, 2006, which is a wholly foreign-owned enterprise and a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji heavy Industry Co., Ltd.
Giant Group, founded in March 2003, is a large-scale automobile marketing enterprise with automobile sales and service as its main business. It was once known as "the largest automobile distribution group in China" and "the king of 4S stores". In 2004, the huge group won Subaru's exclusive agency in eight provinces and cities in China and became one of Subaru's three agents in China.
On January 18, 2013, Fuji heavy Industry Co., Ltd. announced the signing of a joint venture agreement with a large group. According to the agreement between the two sides, Fuji heavy Industries Co., Ltd. and the huge Group jointly contributed to Subaru China. After the completion of the investment, Fuji heavy Industries Co., Ltd. holds a 60% stake in Subaru China, and the huge Group holds a 40% stake in Subaru China. Subaru China has been changed into a Sino-foreign joint venture, and its main business scope includes importing Subaru brand vehicles, wholesale and retail Subaru cars to dealers and so on.
It is understood that Subaru's peak in China appeared in 2013, with cumulative sales of 57000 vehicles for the whole year. However, Subaru's sales in China have declined since 2014, with 53000 vehicles sold for the year, down 5.3% from 2015 to 2017, with sales of 47000, 45000 and 31000, respectively.
Subaru's poor sales are on the one hand dragged down by large groups, which are unable to provide more channels and sales support for Subaru. After 2018, the big groups began to have hidden worries. In that year, the large group suffered temporary liquidity difficulties and huge losses, and due to serious lack of funds, property could not be realized and other reasons, it was unable to pay off its maturing debts, lost obvious solvency, and was eventually applied for restructuring by creditors. According to the restructuring plan, the total debt of the giant group is as high as 27.28 billion yuan. Subsequently, Pang Qinghua, founder and former controlling shareholder of the giant group, sold shares to the three restructuring parties and relinquished control of the company, but the reorganization for three years did not get the giant group out of the predicament.
In August 2022, Subaru filed an arbitration request with the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre. The large group of the respondent is required to transfer all the respondent's equity in Subaru China to the applicant at a transfer price of about 265 million yuan (or such other amount as the arbitration tribunal deems appropriate). According to the court's final ruling, Subaru had the right to buy a 40 per cent stake in Subaru China held by a huge group for 265 million yuan, and Subaru China was transformed again from a Sino-foreign joint venture into a wholly foreign-owned enterprise.
The huge group has said many times in the financial report that Subaru China is the only distributor of Subaru brand cars in China, which plays an important role in the company's sales revenue and profits. However, as Subaru buys back Subaru's stake in Subaru China, the performance of the giant group is likely to come under further pressure. The financial report shows that the huge group made a net loss of 1.441 billion yuan for the whole year in 2022, almost smoothing out the profits of the past two years. A few days ago, the shares of the giant group were delisted, with the lowest share price falling to 0.4 yuan per share.
The slow iteration of Subaru product updates is also the main reason for affecting sales. Among the Japanese brands, Subaru belongs to a minority brand, and it is difficult for the unique market and target users to break through the market. Coupled with the arrival of the era of new energy vehicles, the technical advantages and brand characteristics accumulated during the fuel vehicle period will be difficult to maintain. May also face a survival crisis.
According to the official website, Subaru currently sells four models in China, including Forest Man, Aohu, XV, CROSSTREK and BRZ, of which the CROSSTREK went on sale at the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show with a price range of 19.98 to 230800 yuan. As an alternative to the Subaru XV, the Subaru CROSSTREK uses a new family design style, with a 2.5L horizontal opposite engine (SUBARU BOXER), matching the Lineartronic longitudinal chain continuously variable transmission and with a shift pick.
Subaru is accelerating the pace of transformation and will launch four new cross-border electric vehicles by the end of 2026. As part of the electrification plan, a production line at the Subaruya plant will produce 200000 electric vehicles a year from 2026. In addition, Subaru will add another dedicated electric vehicle production line in Japan's Daquan plant as early as 2027, with an annual production capacity of 200000 vehicles. From 2028, the annual output of the two production lines will reach 400000 vehicles.
According to the plan, Subaru electric cars and hybrids will account for more than 40% of global sales by 2030. At present, Subaru's only pure electric model is the SOLTERRA, which was first unveiled in November 2021 and is based on the e-Subaru global platform. It is a sister model to Toyota's bZ4X, but it has not yet been listed in China. Of course, as an imported brand, as a Japanese electric car and with reference to Toyota bZ4X sales, even if Subaru SOLTERRA enters the Chinese market, it is difficult to get satisfactory results.
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