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 is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan that specializes in manufacturing compact automobiles, a full range of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles , outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a variety of other small internal combustion engines. Suzuki is the 9th largest automobile manufacturer in the world by production volume, employs over 45,000 people, has 35 main production facilities in 23 countries and 133 distributors in 192 countries.

"Suzuki" is pronounced in Japanese, with a high tone on the . It is pronounced in English, with a stressed zu. This pronunciation is used by the Suzuki company in marketing campaigns directed towards this demographic.


In 1909, Michio Suzuki founded the Suzuki Loom Works in the small seacoast village of Hamamatsu, Japanmarker. Business boomed as Suzuki built weaving looms for Japan'smarker giant silk industry. In 1929, Michio Suzuki invented a new type of weaving machine, which was exported overseas. Suzuki filed as many as 120 patents and utility model rights. The company's first 30 years focused on the development and production of these exceptionally complex machines.

Despite the success of his looms, Suzuki realized his company had to diversify 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 featured a cast aluminum crankcase and gearbox and generated 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's thoughts went back to 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-wheel ingenuity came in the form of a motorized bicycle called, the "Power Free." Designed to be inexpensive and simple to build and maintain, the 1952 Power Free featured a 36 cc, one horsepower, two-stroke engine. An unprecedented feature was the double-sprocket gear system, enabling 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 system was so ingenious that the patent office of the new democratic government granted Suzuki a financial subsidy to continue research in motorcycle engineering, and so was born Suzuki Motor Corporation.

In 1953, Suzuki scored the first of many racing victories when the tiny 60 cc "Diamond Free" won its class in the Mount Fujimarker Hill Climb.

1955 Suzulight
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. Suzuki showcased its penchant for innovation from the beginning. The Suzulight included front-wheel drive, four-wheel independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering—features common on cars half a century later.

Historical timeline

  • 1993 – Passenger car production/sales began at Suzuki Egyptmarker S.A.E., opening ceremony for new car production plant held at Magyar Suzuki Corp.marker in Esztergommarker, Hungarymarker and Wagon R passenger car marketed.
  • 1994 – Maruti Udyog Ltd. of Indiamarker total aggregate car production reached 1 million units.
  • 1995 – Total aggregate motorcycle export reached 20 million units
  • 1996 – Start of production in Vietnammarker (Motorcycles and automobiles)
  • 1997 – Achieved 10 million cumulative automobile sales for overseas market and 4-stroke outboard motors win the Innovation Award at The International Marine Trade Exhibit and Conference (IMTEC) in Chicagomarker.
  • 1998 – Suzuki and General Motors form strategic alliance and Chongqingmarker Chang'an Suzuki Automobile Co., Ltd. received official approval from the Chinese government for production of passenger cars.
  • 1999 – Aggregate motorcycle production reaches 40 million units and Jiangximarker Changhe Suzuki Automobile Co., Ltd. receives official approval from the Chinese government for production of commercial vehicles.
  • 2000 – The company commemorates the 80th anniversary, aggregate car production at Kosaimarker Plant reaches 10 million units and Suzuki production starts at General Motors de Argentinamarker S.A.
  • 2001 – Aggregate Launch of Suzuki Liana/Aerio. worldwide sales of SJ-Series reaches 2 million units, production of Alto reaches 4 million units and Suzuki achieves "Zero-Level" target of landfill waste
  • 2002 – Achieved 30 million cumulative automobile sales for worldwide market and America's #1 warranty: 100,000/7-year powertrain limited warranty.
  • 2003 – Suzuki is #1 in Kei car sales for the 30th consecutive year and Twin, the first hybrid Kei car in Japanmarker, marketed.
  • 2004 – Aggregate domestic automobile sales reach 15 million units
  • 2005 – Swift was awarded the 2006 RJC Car of the Year.
  • 2006 – New XL7 is marketed particularly to the North American market; and GM divested, selling 92.36 million shares and reducing their stake to 3%.
  • 2008 – Suzuki introduces its first production fuel-injected motocross bike; and GM divested its remaining 3% stake in Suzuki.
  • 2009 – Suzuki introduces its first production pickup truck called the Equator.

Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki Swift

Based in Gurgaonmarker, Indiamarker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited is Suzuki's largest and most valuable subsidiary with an annual production of 626,071 units in 2006. Suzuki has a 54.2% stake in the Indian auto giant and the rest is owned by the various Indian public and financial institutions. The company was incorporated in 1981 and is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India. In 2005-2006, the company had a 54% market share of the passenger car market in India. Nearly 75,000 people are employed directly by Maruti and its partners.

Maruti Suzuki was born as a Government of India company, with Suzuki as a minor partner, to make a people’s car for middle class India. Over the years, the product range has widened, ownership has changed hands and the customer has evolved.

Maruti Suzuki offers 14 models, ranging from India's one-time best selling car, Maruti 800, for less than INR 200,000 (US$ 5000) to the premium sedan Maruti Suzuki SX4 and luxury SUV, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara. Maruti 800 was the first model launched by the company in 1983 followed by mini-van Maruti Omni in 1984. Both models were huge success in their respective categories because of the use of high-end technology and good fuel efficiency. Maruti Gypsy, launched in 1985, came into widespread use with the Indian Army and Indian Police Service becoming its primary customers. The short-lived Maruti 1000 too achieved moderate success until it was replaced by Maruti Esteem in 1994, to counter increasing competition in the medium-sedan category.

Maruti Zen, launched in 1993, was the company's second compact car model and also became extremely popular in India because of its high performance. The company went on to launch another compact car Maruti Wagon-R followed by Maruti Baleno in 1999. However, with increasing competition from Tata, Hyundai, Honda and Daewoo Motors, Maruti was not able to achieve the same success with Wagon-R and Baleno as it had with its earlier models.So it Replaced Maruti Suzuki Baleno with the Suzuki SX4 and is going to replace Wagon-R with Suzuki Splash.Currently SX4 is the largest selling car in its segment.

In 2000, Maruti Alto was launched. The launch of Tata Indica and Hyundai Santro had affected Maruti's sales but Alto helped secure the company's position as the auto leader in India. It is currently the largest selling car in India. The Maruti models include Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, launched in 2003, Maruti Versa, launched in 2004, Maruti Suzuki Swift, launched in 2005, Maruti Zen Estilo and Maruti Suzuki SX4, launched in 2007. TheAlto, Swift and SX4 are leaders in their respective segments in the Indian Market.

On 14 February, Maruti Suzuki India, a Suzuki subsidiary in India, announced that it achieved one million total accumulated production volume of the Alto. The Alto has reached the million units mark in just seven years and five months since its launch on September 2000. The last half of the million has come in a record 25 months. The Alto has been India's largest volume-selling car, every month, for the past 37 consecutive months. Its popularity has continued to grow since its launch, with customers attracted to its combination of fuel efficiency, contemporary design and looks and features including Electronic Power Steering and air-conditioning. With this the Alto became the third car in the Maruti Suzuki stable to cross the million units mark. Previously, the Maruti 800 and the Omni had exceeded the million units mark. Besides its success in India, over 152,000 Altos made at Maruti Suzuki were delivered internationally, enjoying good outcomes in Algeria and Chile.

Maruti Exports Limited is the subsidiary of Maruti Udyog Limited with its major focus on exports and it does not operate in the domestic Indian market. The first commercial consignment of 480 cars were sent to Hungarymarker. By sending a consignment of 571 cars to the same country, Maruti crossed the benchmark of 3,000,000 cars. Since its inception export was one of the aspects the government has been keen to encourage. Every political party expected Maruti to earn foreign exchange. Angola, Benin, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Europe, Kenya, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador are some of the markets served by Maruti Exports.

Other subsidiary companies of the Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan in India are:
  • SUZUKI POWERTRAIN INDIA LIMITED: Manufacturers engines for cars
  • SUZUKI MOTORCYCLE INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED: Manufactures two wheelers under brand name 'Suzuki'. Its two wheeler models launched in India are 'GS 150R, Intruder, Hayabusa 1300 cc, 125 cc Access, 125 cc Motorcycle Zeus.

American Suzuki Motor Corp. history

American Suzuki headquarters is located in Breamarker, Californiamarker. Through an agreement with General Motors, Suzuki began selling a version of their Suzuki Cultus in United States as the Chevrolet Sprint in 1985. This model was initially sold as a 3-door hatchback and would be Chevrolet's smallest model.
2004 Suzuki XL-7

The Samurai was also introduced in 1985 for the 1986 model year and was the first car introduced to the United States by the newly created American Suzuki Corp. No other Japanese company sold more cars in the United Statesmarker in its first year than Suzuki. The Samurai was available as a convertible or hardtop and the company slogan was Never a Dull Moment. The Samurai was successful until Consumer Reports alleged the Samurai of being susceptible to roll over in a 1988 test.

In 1989, American Suzuki introduced the Swift which was the 2nd generation Suzuki Cultus. The Swift was available as a GTi and GLX hatchback with a 4-door sedan following in 1990. A new small SUV called the Sidekick was also introduced in 1989. 1991 saw the introduction of the 4-door Suzuki Sidekick, the first 4-door mini-SUV in North America. The Swift and Sidekick were cousins to GM's Geo Metro and Geo Tracker and were mostly produced in Ingersollmarker, Ontariomarker, Canada by Suzuki and GM's joint venture, CAMI. The Swift GT/GTi and 4-door models were imported from Japan. Negative evaluations from Consumer Reports of the Suzuki Samurai led to some temporary setbacks at American Suzuki as annual sales in the following years dropped to below 20,000 units.

In 1995, American Suzuki introduced the Esteem and redesigned the Swift. The Swift GT was dropped and this version Swift was specific only to North America where it was built at CAMI. These models were the first Suzuki vehicles to be marketed in North America with dual front airbags. A station wagon version of the Esteem was introduced in 1996. Worldwide Suzuki production reached more than 975,000 cars this year.

Also in 1996, American Suzuki released the 2-door SUV X-90 and a revised Sidekick Sport model with dual airbags, a 1.8 liter engine, 16 inch wheels and two-tone paint. The Sidekick was replaced by the Vitara and the Grand Vitara for 1999. The Grand Vitara would be Suzuki's first model with a V6-cylinder engine and available 4-wheel ABS brakes.

The Grand Vitara XL-7 was introduced in 2001 as a stretched version of the Grand Vitara. The Grand Vitara XL-7 had a larger 2.7 liter V6-cylinder engine and 3-row seating. This would be Suzuki's largest vehicle to date and the first compact SUV to offer 3-row seating.

The Swift was dropped from the model lineup in 2001 and the Esteem was replaced in 2002 by the new Aerio, which was offered as a 4-door sedan and 5-door crossover with 4-wheel-drive as an option.

In 2004, General Motors and Suzuki jointly purchased the bankrupt Daewoo Motors renaming the venture GMDAT. American Suzuki rebadged the compact Daewoo Nubira/Daewoo Lacetti as the Forenza and the mid-size Daewoo Magnus as the Verona. The Forenza gained station wagon and hatchback body style in 2005, with the hatchback sold under the Reno name.

2006 was the first year American Suzuki sold more than 100,000 vehicles in the United States. Suzuki redesigned the Grand Vitara in 2006 as well as introduced the all-new Suzuki SX4 and Suzuki XL7 in 2007. The Suzuki SX4 is produced as a joint venture with Fiatmarker and the XL7 (notice the shortening of the name from Grand Vitara XL-7) is produced as a joint venture with GM at CAMI Automotive Inc. in Ingersoll.

Despite a difficult domestic US automarket, Suzuki has been keeping pace with its 2007 sales numbers including recording their best May ever in May 2008.

Pakistani Suzuki Motor Company Limited

Following the terms of the Joint Venture Agreement between Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan (SMC) and Pakistan Automobile Corporation (PACO), Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited was incorporated as a public limited company in August 1983.

The new company assumed the assets, including production facilities ,of Awami Autos Limited. PSMCL started commercial operations in January 1984 with the primary objective of passenger cars, pick ups, vans and 4x4 vehicles.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the company’s green field automobile plant at Bin Qasim was performed by the then prime Minister of Pakistan in early 1989.

On completion of first phase of this plant in early 1990, in-house assembly Suzuki engines started. The new plant was completed in 1992, and Suzuki production was transferred to new plant — and three box 1300 cc Margalla car was also added to its range of production.

In September 1992 the company was privatized and placed directly under the Japanese Management. At the time of privatization SMC increased its equity from 25% to 40% Subsequently, SMC progressively increased its equity to 73.09% by December 31, 2001.

The Bin Qasim Plant further expanded its production capacity to 50,000 vehicles per year in July 1994 and 300,000 vehicles had been manufactured at this plant by December 2003.

Today Paksuzuki has one of the most modern automobile manufacturing plants in South Asia and currently exports its cars to countries like Bangladeshmarker, Ghanamarker, Nigeriamarker & Maldivesmarker.

Suzuki Canada Inc. history

  • 1973 – June 1, Suzuki Canada Ltd. was incorporated with offices at Downsviewmarker, Ontariomarker. Product lines included motorcycles, parts and accessories to Suzuki dealers throughout Canadamarker.
  • 1974 – Vancouvermarker branch office and warehouse inaugurated to service dealers in western Canada.
  • 1980 – Autumn - Suzuki Canada began its automotive sales with the marketing and sales of four-wheel-LJ80 in eastern Canada. November 1, the name of company changed from Suzuki Canada Ltd. to Suzuki Canada Inc.
  • 1982 – Introduction of a line of Suzuki all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Canada.
  • 1983 – Introduction of a line of Suzuki outboard motors in western Canada. February 1, 1983 - Western Branch moved to enlarged facilities in Richmondmarker, British Columbiamarker.
  • 1984 – Began the sales of 'Suzuki Forsa' (Suzuki Cultus) automobile.
  • 1986 – A $600 million Suzuki-GM joint venture CAMI Automotive Inc. announced for the manufacturing of vehicles. Production was set to begin in 1989 at Ingersollmarker, Ontariomarker.
  • 1987 – January 25 - Suzuki Canada Inc. moved to a new . head office and warehouse facility at Richmond Hillmarker, Ontariomarker.
  • 1988 – Autumn - Suzuki began selling the CAMI-built 2-door Suzuki Sidekick.

OEM deals

Since 1985, Suzuki has shared or produced automobiles for other manufacturers around the world.

General Motors

Chevrolet Sprint - United States (Suzuki Cultus)
Pontiac Firefly - Canada (Suzuki Cultus)
Geo Metro - United States (Suzuki Cultus)
Holden Barina - Australia & New Zealand (Suzuki Cultus)
Chevrolet Swift - South America (Suzuki Cultus)
Chevrolet Cruze - Japan (Suzuki Ignis)
Holden Cruze - Australia (Suzuki Ignis)
Chevrolet MW - Japan (Suzuki Wagon R)
Bedford Rascal - Europe (Suzuki Carry)
Bedford Rascal - United Kingdom (Suzuki Carry)
Holden Scurry - Australia (Suzuki Carry)
Chevrolet Supercarry - South America (Suzuki Carry)
Geo Tracker - United States (Sidekick/Vitara)
Chevrolet Tracker - United States (Sidekick/Vitara)
Pontiac Sun Runner - Canada (Sidekick/Vitara)
Chevrolet Grand Nomad - South America (Suzuki XL7)
Holden Drover - Australia & New Zealand (Suzuki Sierra/Samurai)
Opel Agila - Europe (Suzuki Wagon R and Suzuki Splash)
Chevrolet MW - Japan (Suzuki Wagon R)
Vauxhall Agila - United Kingdom (Suzuki Wagon R and Suzuki Splash)


Subaru Justy - Europe (Suzuki Swift)


Mazda Proceed - Japan (Suzuki Vitara)
Mazda Carol - Japan (Suzuki Alto)
Autozam AZ-1 - Japan (Suzuki Cara)
Autozam Scrum - Japan (Suzuki Every)
Autozam AZ-Wagon - Japan (Suzuki MR Wagon)
Mazda AZ-Offroad - Japan (Suzuki Jimny)
Mazda Spiano - Japan (Suzuki Lapin)
Mazda Laputa - Japan (Suzuki Kei)


Nissan Moco - Japan (Suzuki MR Wagon)
Nissan Pino - Japan (Suzuki Alto)

Maruti Suzuki

Maruti 800 - India (Suzuki Alto)
Maruti Omni - India (Suzuki Carry)
Maruti Gypsy - India (Suzuki SJ)
Maruti 1000 - India (Suzuki Cultus)
Maruti Zen - India (Suzuki Alto)

  • All Maruti models since the Zen are referred to as Maruti Suzuki.



Suzuki started manufacturing motorcycles in 1952, the first models being motorized bicycles. During the 1950s, 1960s and the better part of the 1970s, the company manufactured motorcycles with two-stroke engines only, the biggest two-stroke model being the water-cooled triple-cylinder GT750.

A large factor in Suzuki's success in two-stroke competition was the East Germanmarker Grand Prix racer Ernst Degner, who defected to the West in 1961, bringing with him expertise in two-stroke engines from the East German manufacturer MZ. Suzuki hired Degner, and he won the 50 cc class F.I.M. road racing World Championship for them in the 1962 season. Suzuki became the first Japanese manufacturer to win a motocross world championship when Joel Robert won the 1970 250 cc title. In the 1970s, Suzuki established themselves in the motorcycle racing world with Barry Sheene and Roger De Coster winning world championships in the premier 500 cc division in road racing and motocross respectively. Suzuki continues to compete in MotoGP and last won the title in the 2000 season. Since 2006, the team is sponsored by Rizla and is known as Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team.

It was not until 1976 that Suzuki introduced its first motorcycle with a four-stroke engine, the GS400 and GS750.

In 1994, Suzuki partnered with Nanjing Jincheng Machinery to create a Chinese motorcycle manufacturer and exporter called Jincheng Suzuki.


Notable Suzuki motorcycles include some of the following:

  • Hayabusa (GSX-1300R) – a sport-touring motorcycle capable of in 1999, and limited to since 2000.
  • GSX-R1000 – the largest model of the GSX-R series, first launched in 2000.
  • GSX-R750 – the grandfather of the GSX-R1000, this designation is more than 25 years old and this model is being updated/redesigned entirely every two to four years.
  • GSX-R600 – a smaller version of the GSX-R750. Comparable to Honda's CBR600RR, and Kawasaki's ZX-6.
  • GSX-650F – introduced in 2008, this new sport touring model fills the void of the retired Katana, competing with the Yamaha FZ6/Fazer and the Kawasaki ZZR600. The 2009 model has ABS as a standard feature.

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)

Utility Sport


Event sponsorship

Suzuki is a major sponsor of luge, biathlon, and cross country skiing sporting events.

See also


  1. Twist The Throttle: Suzuki
  3. Official website of Maruti Exports Limited
  4. TEAM SUZUKI by Ray Battersby (2008) Parker House Publishing ISBN: 0979689155 / 0-9796891-5-5

External links

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