Earthquake, sales slump, currency fluctuations and Chinese joint venture problems balmed
1 November 2011

Subaru owner Fuji Heavy Industries has announced a slump in year-on-year profits of 27%.

It has blamed production disruption in the wake of the earthquake in Japan earlier this year, the weakness of the yen and a fall in sales on the drop, as well as its failure to get approval for a joint venture project in China.

In total, sales fell 19%, with currency fluctuations accounting for the rest of the fall in profits to around £26 million.

The Chinese government has so far refused Subaru's requests to form a joint venture with state-owned car maker Chery Automobile, on account of it being part owned by Toyota.

Toyota already has joint ventures with two Chinese car makers, and the government is eager to restrict the number of JV deals non-local manufacturers can sign.

Fuji Heavy President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga cited the Chinese problems as key to Subaru's future. "If we don't gain approval before next year it will be difficult to pursue the five-year business plan," he said.

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