Suzuki is a Japanese automaker that was founded in 1909. It is one of the largest automakers in Japan and among the top ten in the world. In addition to manufacturing cars and trucks, Suzuki also has a substantial business in producing motorcycles, ATVs, and other motor vehicles. It maintains production facilities in over 20 countries and distributors all over the world.
History of Suzuki
The Suzuki Motor Corporation was founded in 1909 by Michio Suzuki as the Suzuki Loom Works. The company was originally engaged in the business of designing and building weaving looms, which it sold both in Japan and internationally. This formed the bulk of the company’s business operations for the better part of four decades. Although Suzuki first attempted to enter the automobile industry in 1937, the onset of World War II resulted in the Japanese government ordering the cessation of civilian motor vehicle production.
Suzuki would continue with loom production after World War II ended, and the company saw even greater success due to a booming post-war textile industry in Japan. However, the bottom fell out of the loom-building business when the cotton market fell apart in the early 1950s. At this time, Michio Suzuki once again sought to diversity his business.
Although Suzuki had produced prototype automobiles as far back as 1937, its first foray into the business of motor vehicles came in the form of motorized bicycles. The company changed its name to the Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. in 1954, and it produced its first automobile in 1955. In 1961, the loom manufacturing portion of the company was spun off as the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company.
Throughout the years, Suzuki has partnered with a number of other automakers to co-develop, re-badge, or distribute vehicles. Some of its partners since 1985 include Fiat, General Motors, Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Volkswagen. Its partnership with General Motors was particularly prolific, with dozens of different models sold in various territories.
Suzuki is a publicly traded company today, and Volkswagen AG is currently the single largest shareholder with an almost 20 percent stake.
Vital Suzuki Statistics
Current headquarters: Shizuoka, Japan
Yearly production: 2,878,000 automobiles (2012)
Owner: Publicly traded (19.9 percent stake owned by Volkswagen AG)
Suzuki Contact Information
Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.
Automotive Customer Service
Brea, CA 92822