Mon, Jun 10, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Subaru production ends in Taiwan as annual sales drop

By Kevin Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd (富士重工) announced late last week that it had ended a partnership with Taiwan's Ta Ching Motors Co (大慶汽車) to sell and distribute Subaru cars in Taiwan.

Takenaka Kyoji (竹中恭二), president and CEO of Fuji Heavy, said in a statement that the company has decided to pull out of its stake in Ta Ching, which it formed with the Taiwanese motorcycle company in 1986. Fuji Heavy held a 45-percent stake in the venture, with the rest owned by Ta Ching Motors.

In the wake of Taiwan's accession into the WTO earlier this year, Fuji Heavy also chose to adjust its auto production and marketing strategies for the Taiwan market and is planning to form its own subsidiary here -- Subaru of Taiwan Co (台灣速霸陸) -- Kyoji said in the statement. The new venture will focus on marketing and aftersales service.

According to a Taipei-based public relations specialist for Fuji Heavy, the Japanese automaker has registered the new venture with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and expects to start operating in August. But the official refused to elaborate on other details about the new venture, such as its initial capitalization and number of staff.

While annual production of Subaru cars by Ta Ching Motors reached a peak of 17,130 in 1991, in recent years production plummetted. Ta Ching Motors produced 1,713 Subaru's last year.

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