Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries plans to strengthen its European distribution and sales to sell 100,000 vehicles a year, about double the current volume.

Subaru also plans to start local production in a GM Europe plant. At present, only the Justy, a re-badged Suzuki Swift, is produced in Europe in the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary.

Most existing European Subaru dealers do not handle the marque exclusively and sell relatively few cars.

Fuji Heavy now plans to rationalise the current network with fewer, larger dealerships that handle Subaru exclusively.

The changes will be made first in Germany which has the largest number of Subaru dealers in Europe. There the network will be reduced from the present 400 to somewhere between 250 and 300.

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