Suzuki Motors Intl
Suzuki Motor Corporation (Japanese: スズキ株式会社 Hepburn: Suzuki Kabushiki-Kaisha?) is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan, 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 2011, Suzuki was thought to be the ninth biggest automaker by production worldwide. Suzuki has over 45,000 employees worldwide and has about 35 main production facilities in 23 countries and 133 distributors in 192 countries.
Headquarters in Hamamatsu
In 1909, Michio Suzuki (1887–1982) founded the Suzuki Loom Works in the small seacoast village of Hamamatsu, Japan. Business boomed as Suzuki built weaving looms for Japan’s giant silk industry. In 1929, Michio Suzuki invented a new type of weaving machine, which was exported overseas. The company’s first 30 years focused on the development and production of these machines.
Despite the success of his looms, Suzuki 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 would be the most practical new venture. The project began in 1937, and within two years Suzuki had completed several compact prototype cars. 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.
With the onset of World War II, production plans for Suzuki’s new vehicles were halted when the government declared civilian passenger cars a “non-essential commodity.” At the conclusion of 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’s fortunes brightened as orders began to increase from domestic textile manufacturers. But the joy was short-lived as the cotton market collapsed in 1951.
Faced with this colossal challenge, Suzuki returned to the production of motor vehicles. After the war, the Japanese had a great need for affordable, reliable personal transportation. A number of firms began offering “clip-on” gas-powered engines that could be attached to the typical bicycle. 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 a financial subsidy to continue research in motorcycle engineering.
By 1954, Suzuki was producing 6,000 motorcycles per month and had officially changed its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. Following the success of its first motorcycles, Suzuki created an even more successful automobile: 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.
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.
The company was founded by Michio Suzuki; its current Chairman is Osamu Suzuki, the fourth adopted son-in-law in a row to run the company,
The Suzuki Loom Company started in 1909 as a manufacturer of looms for weaving silk and cotton. Michio Suzuki was intent on making better, more user-friendly looms and, for 30 years his focus was on the development of these machines. Michio’s desire to diversify into automotive products was interrupted by World War II Before it began building four-stroke engines, Suzuki Motor Corp. was known for its two-stroke engines (for motorcycles and autos). After the war, Suzuki made a two-stroke motorized bicycle, but eventually the company would be known for Hayabusa and GSX-R motorcycles, for the QuadRunner, and for dominating racetracks around the world. 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, but no longer sells cars in North America.
1909: Michio Suzuki founds Suzuki Loom Works founded in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
1920: incorporated, and capitalized at ¥500,000 as Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co. with Michio Suzuki as president.
1937: Suzuki begins a project to diversify into manufacturing small cars. Within two years several innovativetotypes are completed, but the government declares civilian passenger cars a “non-essential commodity” at the onset of World War II, thwarting production plans.
1940: Takatsuka Plant is built in Kami-mura, Hamana-gun, Shizuoka, Japan.
1945: Plants close due to severe war damage. Company offices move to the Takatsuka Plant site.
1947: Head office moves to the present address.
1949: Company lists on the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya Stock Exchanges.
1950: Company has financial crisis due to labor difficulties.
1952: “Power Free” motorized bicycle marketed.
1953: Introduction of Diamond Free 60cc, 2-cycle motorized bicycle, displacement subsequently increases to 70cc.
1954: Company name changed to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.
1955: Introduction of Colleda COX 125cc 4-stroke single-cylinder,and Colleda ST 125cc, two-stroke single-cylinder motorcycles.
Suzulight (360cc, two-stroke) front wheel drive car introduced at the start of Japan’s minivehicle age.
1957: Michio Suzuki designated as adviser, and his son Shunzo Suzuki appointed as company president.
1958: S mark adopted as corporate emblem.
1959: Launch of Colleda Sel Twin (2-cylinder) 125cc, two-stroke motorcycle with electric starter.
Introduction of all-new Suzulight TL 360cc light commercial, two-stroke minivehicle.
September 26, Typhoon Vera (Ise-Wan) destroys Suzuki’s assembly plant.
1960: In March Suzuki’s new modern assembly line plant is finished.
Suzuki enter a motorcycle race team into Grands Prix under the manufacturing name Colleda with riders Toshio Matsumoto, Michio Ichino and Ray Fay, placing 15th, 16th, and 18th in Isle of Man TT races.
1961: Separation of the loom machine division from the motor company, 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, two-stroke lightweight truck begins at new plant in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
1962: First victory in the inaugural season of 50 cc Grand Prix motorcycle racing comes at the end of a three-way battle between Suzuki, Honda and Kreidler at the Isle of Man TT. The winning RM62 machine was ridden by Ernst Degner who had defected from the East German MZ team to Suzuki the previous year.
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.
1965: Enters outboard motor market with the launch of D55 5.5 hp, two-stroke engine.
Introduction of Fronte 800 two-stroke subcompact passenger vehicle.
T20 motorcycle introduced as “the fastest 250cc motorcycle in the world”, aimed at the US market but gets worldwide attention.
Suzuki T500 at the Salon de la moto 2011 in Paris
1967: Thailand gets the first motorcycle assembly plant outside Japan, creating Thai Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.
Automobile plant built in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan.
Debut of Fronte 360cc, two-stroke minivehicle
1968: After a winning 1967 season, the Suzuki motorcycle race team withdraws from World Grand Prix due to changes in FIM rules. Hans-Georg Anscheidt rides a 1967 machine in 1968 as a privateer, for the seventh season of Suzuki GP championships.
Introduction of Carry Van 360cc, two-stroke minivan with a full cab over design.
Launch of T500 motorcycle with an air-cooled parallel-twin 500cc engine, the largest displacement of any two-stroke at the time.
1969: Motorcycle plant built in Oyabe, Toyama, Japan