Origins of the brand
Many people might not realise that Suzuki actually started out in 1909 as the Suzuki Loom Works, a company that had a 30-year run manufacturing looms for Japan’s booming silk industry. It wasn’t until 1939 that founder Michio Suzuki began to follow his long-standing dream of building motor cars and even then, it was almost derailed by the occurrence of World War Two and the resulting economy crash.
However, Michio did not give up on his dream and by 1954, it finally became a reality when the company’s first automobile – the Suzulight – was prototyped and it officially changed its name to Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd. A small team of just six young engineers worked on the project round-the-clock and produced a car that was years ahead of its time, with innovations such as front-wheel drive, rack and pinion steering and four-wheel independent suspension.
The launch of the production Suzulight in 1955 kickstarted what would be decades of pioneering manufacturing for the Suzuki brand, with engineering milestones across its production of cars, motorcycle, ATVs and Marine Engines. The brand is still one of the top ten car makers in the world and before the pandemic hit, it was producing 3.05 million vehicles a year.