TOKYO -- Subaru today unveiled the Japan-spec WRX sedan while christening a glistening new global headquarters more befitting of the hot brand’s bigger international profile.
The glass-and-steel digs, in Tokyo’s trendy Ebisu district, replaces a cramped, gloomy 48-year-old monolith it sold in 2010.
The new 12-story global nerve center, home to Subaru-brand manufacturer Fuji Heavy Industries, boasts an airy showroom more than four times as big as the previous space, which was occasionally inundated by the smells of the McDonald’s downstairs.
At today’s event, Subaru packed its new floor with eight WRX S4 and WRX STI models to a standing-room only crowd.
The old showroom fit just two vehicles.
Also available is a cavernous auditorium that can hold 1,200 people, enabling Subaru to conduct on-site product launches. The old headquarters had only a large conference room.
Besides underscoring the higher international stature enjoyed by today’s Subaru, the building should allow more efficient work flow for its 600 employees. It has an open-floor layout and dedicated internal staircases connecting departments. Employees at the old headquarters, which opened in 1966, often had to take the public elevator between floors.
“The design of the Ebisu Subaru Building features a sense of ‘speed’ and ‘dynamism’ like those felt with automobiles,” Fuji Heavy said. “FHI will take the relocation of its corporate headquarters as an opportunity to strengthen its competitiveness and business structure to achieve further growth.”
Subaru sales in the U.S. have set records in each of the last six years. Through July, sales have risen 18 percent to 283,722 vehicles. Subaru during July posted the largest sales gain of any automaker in the U.S. with a 27 percent gain. It has posted 32 straight months of U.S. sales gains, and all but three of those have been double-digit gains.
Fuji Heavy began operations at the new site Aug. 18.