On October 2nd, 2017, Subaru Corporation announced that they were shutting down their small engine power product business. What does that mean for owners of these engines?
What Was Subaru Power?
Subaru Industrial Power Products was formed in 1968 as an engine supplier for Polaris Industries. Over the next 30 years, their Star engines were used in ATVs and snowmobiles. Eventually, Subaru bought out Wisconsin Engine’s Robin small engine division and combined it with their existing manufacturing. Subaru re-branded the division several times, starting with Robin, then Subaru Robin and finally Subaru Power. Under this new ownership, the division developed the EX series, the first small engine on the market with a chain drive overhead cam.
Other engines followed, but the EX remained their best-selling product, finding its way into a range of small commercial power equipment. Most of the brands we carry including Little Wonder, eXmark, Echo Bear Cat and Scag have sold equipment powered by the EX Series. These engines quickly gained a reputation for top quality construction which was bolstered by a 5-year commercial warranty, the longest in the business.
Why was Subaru Power Shut Down?
While the division was far smaller than brands like Honda, Kohler and Briggs & Stratton, Subaru’s combined engine and equipment sales were just ahead of Kawasaki, a mainstay of the commercial mower business. This meant the division’s business was sound, but it couldn’t compare to the company’s automobile division.
Subaru went from being a niche player to a major manufacturer in the 90s and 2000s, but it’s the crossover craze that has pushed them to an all new high with 10 years of consecutive growth and 9 years of record-breaking sales. In recent years, the company has entered into partnerships with Toyota and Mazda, building Camrys at their Indiana assembly plant and co-developing the BRZ, FR-S and GT86 sports cars. These three companies are also working together on an electric powertrain that will be used in production vehicles starting in 2021.
Subaru’s automobile manufacturing arm has been so successful that their plants can’t keep up with demand, and they need to dedicate more resources to design new models and make the switch to electric power. The company’s other divisions, aerospace, and eco-technology, are dedicated to supplying partners far into the future. The only way left to free up more resources was to drop the small engine line.
Can I Still Get My Subaru Engine Serviced?
Production of engines, generators, and pumps has stopped, but there are still enough engines in storage to supply manufacturers while they transition to different powerplants. Most equipment manufacturers have already rolled out new versions of their models fitted with engines from Honda or Briggs & Stratton Vanguard.
As for Subaru Power, the division is now handled by Industrial Power Products of America, Inc. While mostly unknown to end users, this company handles distribution of Yamaha industrial products across North America. The company will provide parts and information for Subaru engines, and they’re maintaining Subaru’s power product websites. They will also honor Subaru’s warranties. While Subaru-powered outdoor products will disappear from the market, you should have no problem getting the parts and service to maintain the engines you already own.
Where Can I Get Parts and Service for my Subaru Engine?
Shank’s Lawn Equipment has been a certified Subaru Power dealer, and we will continue to service these engines. If you need repairs or parts for your engine, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s one mile east of I-80 via Exit 10 to Marion.
Need parts for your engine? We ship to the United States and Canada. To order, visit us at www.shankslawn.com.