By The Lenspeed Team


Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd (FHI) has just announced the launch of a representative office in Singapore, comprising a grand total of 3 staff. Although seemingly insignificant news, this is part of a wider push by the company to do feasibility and research studies about the region for further expansion of Subaru. It has identified ASEAN as a future growth region after finding success in China, Australia, Japan and especially the United States.

This is of course something we have seen before with other auto firms. Today, there are more than a handful of car manufacturers which have set up regional offices in Singapore, a fact that is still unknown to much of the Singaporean populace whose hopes of owning a car have been left high and dry. And rightfully, they would be feeling bewilderment at first too – why Singapore, one of the most hostile places for cars in the world?

As it seems, things can thrive in other ways. These manufacturers do not set up offices in Singapore to actually sell cars here; taking advantage of the business-friendly environment, low taxes, offshore banking facilities and great transport links to the world, Singapore has emerged as an ideal hub from which to manage the automotive business across Asia. China has proven to be too politically attached and polluted, while Japan is not as globalised as Singapore is for business. Hong Kong is a viable alternative, which is why some companies, like Infiniti, have their head office there. But mostly in Asia, they’re in Singapore or they’re moving here.

Among the big names with operations here, just to name a few: Porsche AG, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Jaguar Land Rover and most recently General Motors. It’s a bit like having candy in a bed of thorns. All inaccessible to the general population, but there they are…

What’s good news, however, is that car enthusiasts in Singapore who may not be able to buy a car can most certainly rejoice in the fact that they may find it easier now to work for a car manufacturer, with more openings in this industry than ever before for Singaporeans. If you love cars but find them too expensive to buy, this is your next best option, and admittedly a pretty good one… You’d have to travel across the world (mostly halfway or more) to find another auto regional office to work for! And in Singapore, they’re located in swanky places too, like Ocean Financial Centre and Raffles Place…