* Fuji Heavy’s new system to create stronger, more rigid vehicles
* Gasoline, hybrid, electric cars to be made on single platform
* Company plans to roll out new Impreza on new system this year (Adds executive comment, details on new production system)
TOKYO, March 7 (Reuters) - Fuji Heavy Industries on Monday said it would develop Subaru auto models on a new, single platform to create stronger vehicles and streamline its production.
The Japanese automaker said it would develop gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles using a common chassis under the new global platform, beginning with the next Impreza model to be released later this year.
“Our plan is to role out this core technology through 2025 as part of our strategy to create safer cars with improved driveability in all of our power trains, and will integrate our automated driving technology into this platform,” Fuji Heavy executive Tetsuo Onuki told reporters.
The company said it would create a common chassis for all of its models, from its Legacy sedan to its Forester SUV crossover, which will improve steering and suspension.
Fuji Heavy’s new platform comes after Toyota Motor Corp late last year began producing its new Prius model on its recently developed production platform which standardises vehicle engineering across its models.
Volkswagen has already rolled out its Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) in more than a fifth of its vehicles.
Fuji Heavy is enjoying strong demand for its Subaru models in the United States, which has prompted the company to ramp up capacity at its U.S. plant to alleviate some of the pressure on its production lines at home.
The United States accounts for 60 percent of Fuji Heavy’s global sales. (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Stephen Coates and Miral Fahmy)
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