Production of the Subaru BRZ and the Toyota 86 has officially started at Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s (FHI) plant in Gunma Prefecture, Japan.
"The car symbolizes our corporate strategy in two significant aspects: good progress of our alliances; and advancement of our 'select and focus' approach," said FHI president Yasuyuki Yoshinaga. "The start of production today made a huge step for us, but it is not our goal. By constantly refining both models, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and FHI hope to nourish each model to be loved by customers all over the world for a long time to come."
FHI and TMC first collaborated when the latter acquired an 8.7-percent share of the former in October 2005. After Toyota increased its stake to 16.5 percent in April 2008, the two carmakers agreed to jointly develop a small sports car, which eventually resulted in the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86.
"I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the ceaseless efforts of all FHI people and staff who were involved in the development, production and preparations for both models," said Toyota Motor president Akio Toyoda at the line-off ceremony. "The Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 not have been successfully developed without collaboration between FHI and TMC. We started the alliance for mutual growth in 2005. Now I'm delighted to see this moment that our alliance surely bore fruit."