Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan since 1909, which specializes in manufacturing automobiles, four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a variety of other small internal combustion engines. In 2014, Suzuki has over 45,000 employees worldwide and has about 35 main production facilities in 23 countries and 133 distributors in 192 countries. The worldwide sales volume of automobiles is the world’s tenth, domestic sales volume is the third-largest in the country.
1909; 108 years ago
Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Michio Suzuki and Ash Duttam
Maruti Suzuki India Limited is an Indian automobile manufacturer based in Gurgaon, Haryana that is a auxiliary of Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor Corporation. Maruti Suzuki produced 1,133,695 units from 1 April 2011 to 30 March 2012.
1909-the 1940s :
Michio Suzuki founded the Suzuki Loom Works in the small seacoast village of Hamamatsu, Japan in 1909. Business boomed as Suzuki Japanese car company built weaving looms for Japan’s giant silk industry. In 1929, Michio Suzuki invented a new type of the weaving machine, which was exported overseas. The company’s first 30 years focus was on the development and production of these machines.
Despite the success of his looms, Suzuki cars from Japan believed that his company would benefit from diversification and he began to look at other products. Based on consumer demand, he decided that building a small car. The project began in 1937, and within two years Suzuki had completed several compact prototype cars from Japan. These first Suzuki motor vehicles were powered by a then-innovative, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, four-cylinder engine. It had a cast aluminum crankcase and gearbox and generated 13 horsepower (9.7 kW) from a displacement of less than 800cc.
1941-the 1980s :
At the time of World War II, production plans for Suzuki’s new vehicles were halted as the government declared civilian passenger cars a “non-essential commodity”. After the war, Suzuki went back to producing looms. Loom production was given a boost when the U.S. government approved the shipping of cotton to Japan. Suzuki Japanese Cars fortunes brightened as orders began to increase from domestic textile manufacturers. But the joy was short-lived as the cotton market collapsed in 1951.
Suzuki returned to the production of motor vehicles. Suzuki’s first two-wheeled vehicle was a bicycle fitted with a motor called, the “Power Free.” Designed to be inexpensive and simple to build and maintain, the 1952 Power Free had a 36 cc, one horsepower, two-stroke engine. The new double-sprocket gear system enabled the rider to either pedal with the engine assisting, pedal without engine assist, or simply disconnect the pedals and run on engine power alone. The patent office of the new democratic government granted Suzuki cars from Japan a financial subsidy to continue research in motorcycle engineering. Suzuki made a two-stroke motorized bicycle, but eventually, the company was popular for Hayabusa, GSX-R motorcycles, and QuadRunner for dominating racetracks around the world.
By 1954, Suzuki producing 6,000 motorcycles per month and had officially changed its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. Suzuki cars from Japan created an even more successful automobile following the success of its first motorcycles: the 1955 Suzuki Suzulight. The Suzulight sold with front-wheel drive, four-wheel independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering, which were not common on cars until three decades later. Even after producing its first car in 1955 the company didn’t have an automobile division until 1961. Today Suzuki is among the world’s largest automakers, and a major brand name in important markets, including Japan and India.
In 1961 the loom machine division from the motor company separated as Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co. Suzuki enter race motorcycles of RT61 125 cc and RV61 250 cc into Grands Prix under the Suzuki name with two riders from the team of Mitsuo Itoh, Michio Ichino, Sadao Masuda, Toshio Matsumoto, Paddy Driver, Hugh Anderson and Alastair King placing 10th and 12th in 250 cc Isle of Man TT races. Production of the Suzulight Carry 360cc, the two-stroke lightweight truck began at a new plant in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
In 1963 Mitsuo Itoh makes history as the first Japanese rider to win the Isle of Man TT, when he takes the lead on the last lap of the 50cc race after Suzuki teammate Degner breaks down. Suzuki wins both the rider’s and manufacturer’s championships, in both 50cc and 125cc classes, for this season of World Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Subsidiary company opens in Los Angeles, to enter the American motorcycle market, as U.S. Suzuki Motor Corp. Suzuki cars from Japan enters the outboard motor market with the launch of the D55 5.5 hp, two-stroke engine. The Fronte 800 two-stroke subcompact passenger vehicle introduced in 1965.T20 motorcycle”the fastest 250cc motorcycle in the world”, aimed at the US market that got worldwide attention.
1967 Carry Van 360cc, a two-stroke minivan with a full cab-over design, T500 motorcycle with an air-cooled parallel-twin 500cc engine, the largest displacement of any two-stroke at the time were released. LJ10, the first mass-production 4×4 domestic mini-car, sales in Japan, powered by a 360cc twin-cylinder air-cooled two-stroke engine.
A Production plant for medium to large motorcycles is built-in Toyokawa, Aichi, Japan in 1970, and the GT750 motorcycle debuts with a liquid-cooled two-stroke straight-three engine. Suzuki’s production motocrosser, the TM400, arrives to participate in 500cc class Motocross World Championship racing.
Suzuki rider Roger De Coster becomes the 500cc class World Motocross Champion on his 396cc RN71 factory machine, while teammate (and fellow Belgian) Joel Robert becomes 250cc class champion. Suzuki Parts Manufacturing Company, Ltd., established in Akita Prefecture, Japan, and the Hustler 400 (TS400) motorcycle released as a street version of the TM400in 1972.
In 1974 Indonesian subsidiary established in Jakarta as P.T. Suzuki Indonesia Manufacturing. Company enters into medical equipment field with launch of the Suzuki Motor Chair Z600 motorized wheelchair. Expansion into the housing field initiated with Suzuki Home marketing two models of prefab “Mini-House” and three types of storage sheds.
In 1976 GS Series motorcycles the GS750 and GS400, the first four-stroke machines from Suzuki were released in 20 years.The LJ utility 4×4 series, the LJ80, with a new four-cylinder water-cooled 800cc four-stroke engine, is exported to Australia and Europe the following year.
1979 Alto two-stroke mini vehicle introduced and a massive success, propelling Suzuki into seventh place amongst Japanese car and truck manufacturers, and helped the company’s bargaining position when later linking up with Isuzu and General Motors. Suzuki Australia Pty. Ltd. established in Sydney, Australia 1980. Suzuki enters general-purpose engine field by marketing three electric power generator models.
in 1981 Consolidated (i.e., including subsidiaries) sales for the fiscal year reach ¥500 billion. General Motors and Isuzu Motors announce cooperation with Suzuki Motor Company in producing and marketing new “mini-cars”. GM purchases a 5.3% stake in Suzuki Cars Japan.
1990- 2000s :
1990: Company changes its name to Suzuki Motor Corporation.
Kei car standards upgraded. New mini-vehicles released under the latest specifications: engine capacity raised to 660cc; overall length extended to 10.8 feet (3.3 m). Suzuki Japan signed a car production contract in Hungary, establishing Magyar Suzuki Corporation and also in Korea through a technical tie-up with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Heavy Machinery Ltd. Cappuccino mini two-seater convertible debuts.
In 1992 production of Suzuki Japanese car company begins at the new plant of Pak Suzuki Motors in Karachi, Pakistan.Suzuki becomes a 50% partner in Maruti Udyog.Suzuki signs joint-venture contracts for production of passenger cars and motorcycles in China.
Wagon R mini vehicle debuts, wins 1993 RJC Car of the Year award. Aggregate sales of Suzuki Japanese cars in Japan reach 10 million units. Maruti Udyog of India aggregate car production reach 1 million units.
Suzuki and Isuzu Motors Ltd. agree to dissolve their business tie-up.
1995: Aggregate sales of Suzuki mini vehicles in Japan reach 10 million units, aggregate motorcycle exports from Japan reached 20 million units.
Volkswagen held a 19.9% non-controlling shareholding in Suzuki between 2009 and 2015. An international arbitration court ordered Volkswagen to sell the stake back to Suzuki. Suzuki paid $3.8bn to complete the stock buy-back in September 2015.
Logo and Brand
Suzuki Japan logo is one of the most long-standing and globally recognized emblems in automotive world. Introduced in 1958, four years after the first Suzuki car from Japan had been built, the emblem featured a stylized ‘S’ letter, the initial of the brand’s name. Completed with full Suzuki name, the logo has become an icon. Suzuki logo is both simplistic and elaborate at the same time. It is difficult not to recognize the ‘S’ letter forming the emblem. However, sharp edges and chopped forms are definitely associated with the Japanese culture, reminding of samurai heritage and hieroglyphs. The company’s name below the logo is designed in customized Helvetica font.