Subaru car and SUV maker Fuji Heavy Industries will use General Motors dealers to double Asian region sales outside Japan to at least 10,000 vehicles a year by 2003.

Until now, FHI has used its own dealer networks in Malaysia, Singapore, China and Taiwan to make fewer than 6,000 sales a year.

Adding GM’s established dealers in the region will take Subaru into Indonesia and the Philippines as well with an annual sales target of 1,000 units each.

Thailand, where GM has an assembly plant, will follow and links with GM dealers in Taiwan, China and Malaysia will strengthen the Subaru network and boost sales.

Subaru says it will consider local assembly in China and Thailand (probably using spare capacity in the GM plant) if sales get the boost they want. Existing GM assembly plants in China also offer local production possibilities there.

GM holds a 20 percent slice of FHI, which also recently announced plans to sell the Thai-built, Opel-designed Zafira minivan as a Subaru in Japan.

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