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Suzuki Car manufacturers

Suzuki Car manufacturers

Suzuki is better known for its motorcycles than for its cars, but it was actually founded as a silk loom manufacturer when the company was formed in Hamamatsu, Japan, in 1909. Michio Suzuki, a carpenter, entered the silk trade by creating looms that were more sophisticated but easier to use than those of his rivals. By 1922, the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company was exporting its products to Southeast Asia and India. Ruggedly built, the looms did not require constant replacement or repair, which prompted Suzuki to look for new avenues to explore. Cheap yet reliable transportation was at a premium, and so the company set out to address that need. However, World War II interrupted those plants.

The chaos of the war and the immediate post-war years nearly destroyed the loom company, but Suzuki re-established its dominance in the loom industry and took another look at the need for cheap transportation alternatives. Michio's son, Shunzo, created a small engine that attached above a bicycle's main sprocket and drove the rear wheel through the chain. Not satisfied to be just an engine supplier, Suzuki built the complete "Power Free" bicycle, and a "Diamond Free" version took a class win in the 1953 Mount Fuji Hill Climb. Soon the company had changed its name to Suzuki Motor Company and created the "Suzulight" small car. This front-drive vehicle had four-wheel independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering at a time when few production or even race cars had these same items.

Suzuki Car manufacturers
  • Founded : 1909 (as Suzuki Loom Works)
  • Founder : Michio Suzuki
  • Headquarters : Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Website : www.globalsuzuki.com www.suzuki.co.jp
Though Suzuki entered the U.S. market in 1963, it was as a motorcycle builder, not an automaker. That would have to wait until 1985 when Suzuki brought the Samurai, a compact Jeep-like 4x4, to the market. It was built on a long tradition of diminutive Suzuki 4x4s begun in the late 1960s, and complemented the company's Fronte, Alto, and SC100 tiny kei cars. Suzuki established business ties with both GM and Isuzu, and GM dealers soon began selling versions of the Swift as the Chevy Sprint, Geo Metro, and Chevy Metro. The Sidekick compact SUV, built at a joint Suzuki-GM plant in Canada in both two-door and four-door form, slotted in above, and eventually replaced, the Samurai. It also was sold as the Geo Tracker and Chevy Tracker.

By the mid-1990s, the Esteem compact sedan and wagon had joined a redesigned Swift, revised Sidekick, and the two-door XC-90 4x4. The Grand Vitara, a long-wheelbase Sidekick, was introduced shortly thereafter, and followed by the even longer Grand Vitara XL-7. By 2002, the Aerio had replaced the Esteem, the Swift was gone, and two Daewoo-built models--the Suzuki Forenza and Verona--were almost ready to join the lineup. In 2007, the Fiat-designed SX4 and a XL-7 based on GM's Theta platform (Pontiac Torrent, Chevy Equinox, Saturn Vue) came onboard. They were followed by a version of Nissan's Frontier pickup, known as the Suzuki Equator, in 2008. But, despite the expansion in its four-wheeled offerings, Suzuki still is arguably best known for its high-performance motorcycles.