Sunday Driving: The Other Subaru – Subaru Robin America




The Other Subaru - Subaru Robin America

The Subaru logo on the sign in front of the Subaru Robin America building in Lake Zurich, Illinois, occasionally causes visitors to wonder why there are no vehicles for sale. Although Subaru Robin has no Impreza, Legacy, Outback, Forester, or Tribeca vehicles to sell, it has plenty of Subaru technology!

Meet Subaru Robin, which is part of the Fuji Heavy Industry Ltd. Industrial Products Company. Subaru Robin engines can be found powering equipment on construction sites and farms as well as in residential garages, lawns, and gardens in 90 countries around the world. Altogether, Subaru Robin produced more than 1.2 million Subaru-branded engines for these purposes in 2010, making Subaru the fourth largest engine manufacturer in the world.

 "After record snowfall in the Pittsburgh area last winter, we were in the market for a new snowblower to use this year. While shopping at our local home improvement store (The Home Depot), much to our surprise, we found a snowblower made by Ariens with a Subaru engine.

"That was good enough for us. Hopefully it will prove to be as dependable as our Subaru cars. Let it snow!", David Wilk, Pittsburgh, PA

The confidence that this Subaru owner has in the performance of the Subaru Robin engine-powered snowblower is well placed. The correlation of product quality between the Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) divisions is high.

The Name Robin

When we asked about the origin of the Robin brand name for the general-purpose engine company, we were given this as a possible explanation: "Fuji came up with the name because robins are small, hard-working birds. They start early in the morning and work all day.


"Similarly, Robin brand engines are small, hard-working engines that will provide reliable service every work day."

Subaru Robin History

The history of FHI and its companies starts with the Nakajima Aircraft Laboratory, which was founded in 1917. Airplane engines led to smaller-displacement powerplants (such as motorboat engines).

In the mid-1950s, a group of companies formed FHI. Its innovative capabilities led to the manufacture of Japan's first jet engine, called the "JO-1."

The Robin brand first appeared in 1956 with the first of its general-purpose, air-cooled, gasoline engines. Capabilities and capacity grew, and by 1978, one million "EY 18" four-cycle engines had been produced. In 1989, the "EC 10" two-cycle engine reached the one-million-unit threshold.

FHI opened the Saitama Plant in 1993, and its annual production rate for Robin engines is approximately one million units.

Quality by Design

Another similarity between Subaru Automotive and Subaru Robin is their insistence on quality products. Development and manufacturing teams meet on a regular basis to exchange information to help improve quality. They take into account test results and customer comments to help make improvements.

During the manufacturing process, every engine is tested for performance and quality manufacturing.

As a result, the full range of approximately 2,000 Subaru Robin engines continually evolve to be more environmentally friendly and quieter.


 

Another process used by Subaru Robin that's similar to Subaru Automotive is its recycling of shipping containers and parts. Shipping crates and frames along with packaging materials are reused or recycled.

 

Subaru Robin America

Although engines are not manufactured at Robin America headquarters in Lake Zurich, Illinois, as many as 30,000 units are stored in the facility. Also, the building has a year's supply of parts for engines that are in the field.

Subaru Robin and Subaru Automotive use separate distribution channels in the United States. But, across the board, Subaru Robin and Subaru Automotive exhibit similar characteristics: quality, innovation, technology, environmental responsibility, and responsiveness to the customer.

In 2012 Subaru General Purpose Engine "EX Series"
Cumulative Production Hit 3 Million Units! (read more)

 

For more about Subaru Robin, go to www.subarupower.com.


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