Fuji Heavy Industries will officially change its name to Subaru Corporation on 1 April, 2017, as part of a plan to increase the recognition of the Subaru brand.

In a statement, Fuji Heavy, the maker of Subaru automobiles, said it resolved at an extraordinary meeting of its board to integrate its industrial products company with the Subaru automotive business from 1 October, 2016.

"The purpose of this shift is to enhance the competitiveness of FHI's core automotive business by utilising management resources more effectively and flexibly, with an aim to achieve sustainable growth in the future," the statement said.

"As a result of this business integration decision, the industrial products business will be turned from an in-house company to a part of the Subaru automotive business. Manufacture, sales and service of existing industrial products will continue for the time being, but development projects will be ceased so that resources including development personnel can gradually be reassigned to the automotive business."

Fuji's 'Prominence 2020' mid-term management vision announced in May 2014 sets 'enhancing the Subaru brand' as one of its primary goals.

"As FHI recognises reinforcing development resource in the automotive business as a key initiative for accelerating efforts to achieve this goal, the decision has been made to optimise company-wide allocation of management resources," the statement said.

FHI will proceed to develop detailed plans for the shift.

Toyota owns a 16.5% stake in Fuji.