Following the Chinese government's refusal to approve a proposed manufacturing JV with Chery Auto, Fuji Heavy Industries now says it will look to the US for the majority of global sales growth for Subaru.

Fuji Heavy has responded to the ruling by stating that it now believes it will be "difficult to establish production in China" during the remainder of its own current five-year business plan ending on 31 March 2016. The firm has also lowered its global annual sales target by 50,000 units.

Having now resigned itself to the status of a mere importer in the world's largest market for passsenger vehicles, with its vehicles therefore subject to 25% import duty, Fuji Heavy is instead turning its attentions to other high-growth regions.

The company says it is making good progress with its so-called 'Motion-V' mid-term management plan. The sales target of 632,000 vehicles for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2012 was exceeded by 8,000 units, while operating income came in at JPY44bn compared to the JPY30bn which had been the original forecast.

With the US already by far the largest market for Subaru vehicles, a new sales goal of 380,000 vehicles a year has been set as a target to be reached by the end of fiscal 2016. Fuji Heavy says it will "enhance" production capacity at its US and Japanese plants and is "considering" an expansion of its manufacturing facilities in North America.

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