A close up shows the grille and badge on a 2023 Subaru Forester for sale.

When You Wish Upon a Star: How Subaru Seeks Inspiration From the Sky

Humans have looked up to the sky since the beginning of time, looking for guidance and inspiration. Our curiosity about the universe has led to thousands upon thousands of discoveries, experiments, and leaps forward in technology. But did you know that at least one automotive company took inspiration from the sky to begin its business designing and selling cars? That company is Subaru, and you might have guessed from the six stars in its logo.

Today, we have plenty of Subarus around––whether shopping new or used, it’s pretty common to find a Subaru Crosstrek or a Subaru Forester for sale. These safe, reliable, and eco-friendly vehicles have made an indelible print on the American public and, quite frankly, the world. The brand’s reputation has many unique qualities, making Subaru a top pick for many families, adventurers, dog owners, and environmentalists. But where did Subaru come from? How did it get here? Let’s take a look.

Behind the Name

While “Subaru” is a common Japanese name, unlike Honda and Toyota, the brand is not named for its founder. Instead, it is named after the Subaru constellation––the six stars we know as the Pleiades. In ancient Greece, these stars were believed to be the children of the Titan Atlas and Pleione, an ocean nymph. Because of Atlas’ battle with Zeus, he was cursed to bear the world on his shoulders, and his daughters were so distraught that Zeus took pity on them and gave them a place in the sky so they could be together with Atlas.

Though there are only six stars in this constellation that we can see with the naked eye, there are over 1,000 stars that make up the Pleiades cluster. Appropriately, the Japanese name for the Pleiades derives from the word for “unite,” an ideal many have espoused, not only in business and science but in history, literature, and music. Unity is key in bringing an idea to the table––without it, there is little chance of success. Only by working together as a team can we hope to achieve a sense of unity and oneness in our pursuit of the dreams we want to turn into reality.

The Look: How a Logo Came to Be

A company logo is one of the first things that needs to happen when a brand starts trying to grow. Brand recognition is vitally important for a variety of reasons––it allows the brand’s customers to locate their items, can point potential customers to the brand’s products, and helps with word-of-mouth advertising. Without a logo, even if it’s just the name of the brand in a bright font, the world will forget you exist. Hence, the Subaru logo was carefully thought out and executed, and it is now one of the most recognizable brands in the automotive industry.

Remember how the Subaru name is a nod to the Pleiades constellation? There are six stars that can be seen with the naked eye, and it’s one of the rarer constellations in that it can be seen from anywhere in the world, from the North Pole to the South Pole. Subaru took the Pleiades six-star configuration and turned it into a logo––but that isn’t all it represents. Subaru was formed from five separate companies spun off from the Nakajima Aircraft Company after the parent company ran afoul of Japanese antitrust laws. The five small stars and one large star in the logo represent the five companies working together to become one.

A close up shows the Subaru logo on a snowboard.

Consequently Natural

As a result of this connection to the stars, Subaru maintains a close relationship with nature, opting to be as eco-friendly and environmentally conscious as possible. The company takes pride in its contributions around the world. An automotive company that dedicates some of its financial gains to plants, animals, and people is a win-win for the world.

Subaru’s partners, like Leave No Trace, the National Parks Conservation Association, the National Park Foundation, Terracycle, and the National Forest Foundation, benefit from the generous contributions made by Subaru. However, we all benefit from Subaru’s company policies, like the zero-landfill production plants responsible for producing Subaru vehicles. In fact, the Subaru plant in Indiana decided to create a backyard wildlife habitat, which was given official recognition by the National Wildlife Federation. Other projects include gathering difficult-to-recycle materials for Terracycle, such as snack and candy wrappers and one-use coffee cups. This has resulted in over seven million items being recycled to make things like furniture, which can then be donated to hospitals, schools, parks, and the like, where they can be used the most.

Family First

Along with its efforts to conserve nature, Subaru also cares about families. The brand focuses on providing families with safe, reliable vehicles that look good and provide a stellar driving experience for all. This again echoes the theme of unity the Subaru brand promotes, as it listens to customers when making changes to its lineup. With a nod to its conservation work, Subaru named its best-selling model the Forester. This crossover SUV has plenty of space for the driver and passengers, a quiet ride that allows for deep conversations and spectacular sight-seeing, and plenty of storage space for all that outdoorsy stuff you want to bring along on your next hike, camping trip, trail-riding experience, or picnic at the park.

It’s nice to know that a brand considers not only its customers but the world around us as well. We’re all part of the same ecosystem, the same family, if you will, and when we take care of what we have, we see it thrive. Knowing you can trust Subaru to provide a high-quality product without resorting to landfills and excess waste gives you peace of mind. Learning about the brand’s conservation projects can encourage drivers to engage in philanthropy, volunteer work, and conservation of their own. Not only does Subaru make vehicles, but it does so with a mindset that others would be wise to adopt.

The Subaru headquarters building is show.

Subaru’s Example Sets a High (But Not Unreachable) Bar

As Subaru’s example shows, there are ways to provide exceptional products without punishing the environment and those inhabiting it. We’ve looked at the stars in wonder for so long that reaching them seems impossible. Still, with Subaru’s united front, dedicated environmental efforts, and shining example, other automotive brands will hopefully follow suit.

Imagine if we had fewer landfills, protected species instead of driving them to extinction, and took the time to care for the remaining plants, animals, and land we have––what would that look like? It would benefit future generations. It would allow us to move forward in a hopeful manner, and it would unite us all in an effort to do better, be better, and make better decisions for ourselves, our kids, and the planet we live on.

Thanks to Subaru, we have an idea of what that could look like. Subaru is the north star of the automotive industry, intent on guiding us toward a cleaner, safer future, not just for humans but for the other beings and organisms that live alongside us. When it comes to choosing an automobile brand, there are multiple reasons people decide to stick with Subaru, not the least of which is Subaru’s vision of the future.