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.
- Founded : 1909 (as Suzuki Loom Works)
- Founder : Michio Suzuki
- Headquarters : Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
- Website : www.globalsuzuki.com www.suzuki.co.jp
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.