The History Of Suzuki: Things You Need To Know About


Suzuki is a famous Japanese brand manufactured by Suzuki Motor Corporation. The latter is a multinational corporation. The headquarters is located in Hamamatsu (Japan). The main products list includes passenger cars, commercial vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, boat engines, wheelchairs, engines and components.

The Beginning of the History of a Large-scale Company – 1909

The history of Suzuki begins in 1909. It was then that the founder of the company, Michio Suzuki, decided to establish a family business for the manufacture of looms. The fact is that his family was engaged in the cultivation of cotton. As a result, the new enterprise made it possible to optimize costs and sell not raw materials but materials. The company’s name sounded like Suzuki Loom Works until 1920, after which it was reorganized and turned into Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co.

Suzuki actively attracted skilled workers and engineers to work to develop the company. This made it possible to increase not only the number of products but also to improve the quality. As a result, looms became one of the best globally, displacing British and Dutch competitors from the pedestal. What’s more, Suzuki’s machines have been nominated for an award for their contribution to the development of the economy in Japan. The government awarded the inventions with the Blue Ribbon Medal.

The large-scale successes that turned the head of the creator forced him to develop production. Since the looms were no longer the primary concern, he conducted market research, after which the decision was made to go into cars, hanging the logo of a famous brand on them. In the “trunk” of the company, there were excellent engines, such as a boat, Suzuki, thus, was a little closer to the sphere than the rest of the competitors. The new project started in 1937. Specifications assumed a 4-cylinder hydro cooled engine with an aluminium crankcase and a displacement of 800 ccs. As a result, they developed a maximum of 13 hp.

The Second World War made its adjustments. The company had to stop developing passenger vehicles, as the government considered the civilian auto industry an “irrelevant commodity”, which, it would seem, put a bullet in the previous developments. After the end of hostilities, Suzuki returned to its roots – they began to sell agricultural implements, musical instruments, and heaters. But, the moment for building a business was not long. After five years, the cotton market collapsed.

On the other hand, the collapse played into the hands of the founder of the company, and he had the opportunity to return to the design of cars accessible to all citizens. So, the first product released by Suzuki was a bicycle on which a Suzuki engine was installed. It was called PowerFree and soon became famous for its 36 ccs one hp engine. The system’s features made it possible not only to count on the power of the motor but also to strengthen it with the help of conventional pedals. Moreover, the cyclist could choose one of the ways – to rely on the motor wholly or pedal. The model’s success inspired the engineers and brought a subsidy from the Japanese government, or instead, from the patent office. This grant allowed further development of the direction.

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In 1954, a record was set: a Suzuki motorcycle sold 6,000 in one month. Meanwhile, the company changes its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. The brand’s first car appeared on the market in the same year – the front-wheel-drive Suzulight. Despite the title of “first-born”, independent suspensions are installed on all wheels. In addition, there is a gear steering rack. A “donor” can be called a similar car – Lloyd LP400, from which the “Japanese” got the engine and two-stroke engine. This model became a contender for the “people’s car”, a program run by the local government. Suzuki met the main requirements:

  • The speed reached 100 km / h.
  • The number of passenger seats was equal to four.

In 1956, an updated version of the Suzulight was released with increased engine power to 180 horsepower. The suspension has changed since, in the initial version, it could not cope with low-quality roads. As a result, the springs and levers were replaced by springs. Toward the end of the year, 14-inch tires appeared, making this Suzuki model organic. The photos are confirmed by the improvement in the appearance of the first car.

Development of the Company and Expansion of the Model Range – 1960-1990s

Starting in 1962, the company began to develop cars under the name Front. The manufacturer relied on this name as a symbol of the company’s leading position in the development of critical cars. A prepared two-door sedan was shown in early 1967. Then the Fronte 360 ​​was equipped with an air-cooled engine located at the rear. The volume was 356 “cubes”, and they put a 4-speed “mechanics” with it.

Japanese companies often used high-profile advertisements to promote their products. Suzuki was no exception: lush advertising instantly affected demand. The manufacturer’s plans included the release of 3 thousand copies per month. As a result, the hype made it possible to increase the production capacity to 9,000 copies per month. A year later, the Fronte SS appeared on the market with 36 hp and in the 70th sports modification with the SSS index. In 1969, the company exported this model, having previously turned it into a Fronte 500 with a powerful engine of 475 “cubes” and 29 hp. This model made it possible to bring Suzuki to a higher level of recognition of positive reviews, both from critics and buyers.

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Since then, Suzuki’s automotive industry has been developing. The lineup was expanded with the introduction of the Carry-in 1961. The Kei truck was produced under this name until 1982, after which it was renamed, Suzuki Every. The choice of the buyer was provided with Front- and all-wheel-drive versions. The company entered into numerous agreements with different countries, so the light truck visited some countries under different names, such as Chevrolet or Ford.

In 1970, the future “legend” entered Suzuki Jimny’s market. Even then, the model showed excellent demand. It was popular in all countries, which allowed the company to strengthen its position in the world market. Starting with this model, the path of all-wheel-drive vehicles opens. You can buy Suzuki with a 359-797 “cc” engine, aggregated with a 4-speed manual gearbox.

Fans of the brand associate 1979 with the advent of the Alto Kei car. The main qualities of the latter are efficiency and low price. At the moment, the company has already released the eighth generation. At first, it was produced as a three-door version of the Fonte with a reinforced platform for transporting goods.

In 1981, there were changes in the company’s management: we bought out 5.3% of the shares of General Motors as a result of an agreement on cooperation in the development of compact cars. The agreement also provides for the participation of Isuzu Motors. At the same time, the 25th Tokyo Motor Show took place, where the company introduced the first successful car – Cultus, later renamed Suzuki Swift. At first, it was equipped with a three-cylinder litre engine. In 1986, a new flagship, the Gti, was introduced. The three-door hatchback received innovative equipment – electronic fuel injection.

Six years after signing an agreement with Isuzu and General Motors, management signed a contract with Mazda Motor Corp. Based on the agreement, joint production is opened, the total output reaching 10 million cars in 1989. In the same year, the manufacturer decides to experiment and introduce the Suzuki Bandit motorcycle line to the market, a series consisting of 8 models.

In 1990, the company was again renamed Suzuki Motor Corporation. In 1996, the company imported to Russia a light scooter Suzuki Leta or AC50.

Modern Suzuki and the Brightest Models of 1990-present.

Suzuki agrees with General Motors Corporation to cooperate during the development of compact cars. In 1998, all these were formulated, among which was the deepening of cooperation and the creation of a basis for the subsequent formation of a strategic alliance. The Aerio compact car appeared a year later, presented at the Geneva Motor Show. The car comes in the back of a 5-door hatchback and 4-door sedan. The name of the European model was shortened, so it was presented as the Suzuki M. The older engine available made it possible to install not only front-wheel drive but also all-wheel drive.

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In the same year, Suzuki Escudo appears, which will come to the market under the name Grand Vitara. In 2000, Suzuki Ignis was presented, representing the B-class in the model range of the Japanese company. It incorporates the best features of a hatchback, SUV and minivan, and the previously popular model, the Suzuki Wagon R Plus, is used as a platform. As a result, a mini-SUV with a high ground clearance of 17 centimetres appears on the market.

In 2001, Suzuki Liana entered the market. The sedan becomes a modern replacement for the outdated Baleno or Aerio. In 2003, the company received another title. They get a reward as the leader in producing key cars for over 30 years. By this time, Suzuki was actively developing an alternative-powered engine. In 2003, the Suzuki Twin hybrid Kei car was introduced. The car reaches a record low fuel consumption – only 2.93 litres per 100 kilometres. There is Smart Fortwo in the lineup, which, due to its compact size and economy, is considered exclusively “female”. It provided special “chips”, for example, the front seat could be folded, which turned it into a small table or horizontal stand.

2003 was also the beginning of the collaboration between the designated brand and the French Fiat. This year, the leadership openly announced joint development to create a compact SUV – Suzuki Magyar.

The second half of the 2000s will be remembered as the time of development of the SUV segment. Crossover sales are reaching a new level, so all manufacturers strive to match the trends. As a result, the “star” of the brand arrives in Geneva – Suzuki CX4. Its development was also entrusted to French engineers. An all-wheel-drive cross – HL7 – will arrive in New York a little later.

In Russia, this company appeared only in 1999 with the opening of Suzuki Motor RUS LLC. Only in 2010 did the Japanese car manufacturer buy out 50% of the shares from the official Russian importer. By this time, there is high popularity among the Suzuki Vitara Grand and CX4. In 2015, another model came to Russia – Suzuki Balena, which has already found popularity in Japan, India and North America.

In 2007, there was a discussion of opening a Japanese plant in Shushary (St. Petersburg), but the 2008 crisis disrupted the automaker’s plans, so the project was postponed indefinitely.

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