FAAR

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FAAR (acronym from Castellanese "Fabricantes Automotrices del Ardesfera") is an automotive manufacturer based in the Ardispheric Federation. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Karolian auto company Finira.

Foundation

FAAR was founded in 1947 by a consortium of small companies in order to create cars for the Ardispherican market. At that time cars were relatively rare in the country and tended to be the preserve of the rich who bought foreign models. The new company would be state-controlled and produce cheap, small cars that could tolerate rural use and were simple to maintain. Their first model was the 45, so designated for its power output, which was a four-seat compact car with a two-cylinder engine. Although basic, it fulfilled the design criteria through simplicity of construction, ease of maintenance and ability to run on poor-grade fuel. The car had no load-bearing parts in its bodywork, which meant apart from being easy to build and repair, it lent itself to being modified into a tractor, a van, a beach buggy and a military jeep. The 45 was produced until 1968.

By the fifties FAAR had expanded their model to include a a saloon, the 700, which was a more sophisticated car, although still targeted at the domestic market. It was also available as a station wagon.

Privatisation

FAAR was largely privatised in 1975 with the government retaining a 5% share. The board of directors and most of the supervisory staff were retained, and the company aimed to increase exports as well as feeding the strengthening domestic market in the Ardisphere which was undergoing expansion of the road network. This initially meant good sales for the company, but by the mid-1980s domestic consumers had the purchasing power to afford what were perceived as more upmarket and luxurious foreign marques, who had been quick to spot the growing market in the country. FAAR was able to export to other developing countries but even with several free-trade agreements being in force they were often hit by import tariffs which wiped out much of the cars' low prices. FAAR attempted to respond with better-equipped and more sophisticated cars but these incurred high development costs and risked abandoning their traditional market segment.

Takeover and current status

Struggling with a too-small domestic market and unable to push sales abroad, FAAR was approached by the Karolian producer Finira in 1992 who bought an 80% stake in the company. Finira already had a fairly strong presence in the Ardisphere and were considered a desirable make, as well as being well established globally. The FAAR brand was repositioned as a budget marque (a return to its original remit) and was sold alongside Finira at dealerships from 1995. By 2000 new cars were using identical engines, transmissions and many other systems to Finira cars (although FAAR models tended to use several components that were a model old to minimise development costs). At present, Finira will develop a car in each brand concurrently which share a platform and engine, although the styling and equipment may be very different. A few Finira models have simply been re-badged with no other changes when a newer version is launched; for example the 2003-2009 Megna is still available in some countries as a FAAR Cia-Strada at a much cheaper price than the new car.

Current models

Model Type Doors Available engines
Pixa Small hatch 2/4 1.0, 1.2 gasoline; 1.3 diesel
Cia Mid-size hatch, saloon and tourer 2 (hatch only)/4 1.4, 1.6 gasoline; 1.5 diesel
Terra Crossover hatch 4 1.4, 1.6 gasoline; 1.5 diesel
Spacia Small MPV, also available as a van 2 (van)/4 1.4, 1.6 gasoline; 1.5 diesel
Loscala Full-size saloon and tourer 4 1.6, 1.8 gasoline; 1.5, 1.7 diesel (older 1.9d also available in some countries)

Image gallery

A pre-facelift FAAR Pixa hatch in Säntjana, Karolia.