Subaru Corporation is a major Japanese auto manufacturer operating globally with sales of over 1 million vehicles in 2017. Its market capitalisation was valued at nearly US$26 billion in the same year. Subaru is well known for its reasonably priced saloon and SUV models, such as the Impreza, Outback and Forrester.
Subaru has yet to sell a low-carbon vehicle and has released its first plug-in hybrid electric model in California, US, only in 2019. Other low-emissions vehicles are not to be on market until 2021. Subaru is at risk of not achieving the increasingly pressing targets to reduce manufacturing emissions in the short term, as set for the low-carbon pathway.
Subaru does not appear to be expanding its business model beyond passenger vehicle manufacturing. Though it has been involved in some collaborative efforts with other auto manufacturers to produce hybrid vehicles, Subaru’s focus remains on internal combustion engine vehicles. Unless the company adapts its business model and product portfolio, it risks being left behind in a low-carbon economy.
Subaru has not disclosed a low-carbon transition plan for the period following 2020. Moreover, while Subaru has climate oversight at the highest level of management, it does not appear to have integrated its climate change mitigation efforts into a comprehensive strategy. Subaru could better align itself with the low-carbon pathway by setting robust and long-term commitments and embedding them into a publicly available low-carbon transition plan. This plan would also help Subaru communicate its climate resilience to the investor community.
A trend score of – is awarded to Subaru. If the company were reassessed in the near term, its score would most likely worsen. Subaru is due to continue with 100 percent internal combustion engine vehicle sales in the short term, with its low-carbon alternative – a plug-in hybrid vehicle – not entering the market until 2021. As a result, Subaru’s fleet emissions from internal combustion engine vehicles will increase. A substantial reduction is required during the next five years to stay within the emissions budget set in the low-carbon pathway. Subaru has also not published a low-carbon transition plan or acknowledged climate change as a risk to its business strategy. Furthermore, the company has not set long-term emissions reductions targets outside of manufacturing, indicating that it is not yet aligned with the low-carbon pathway.
Subaru share of sales from internal combustion engine vehicles is 100 percent. The company is not currently engaging in any alternative business activities that would permit it to succeed in a low-carbon economy. Subaru also does not support any policy initiatives that would help decarbonise the automotive industry.
Subaru was previously one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide among auto manufacturers globally in regard to its emissions per vehicle produced. While Subaru has steadily reduced its emissions per vehicle over the last five years, it has yet to manufacture or market any low-carbon advanced hybrid, battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.