Table of contents:
- The beginning of the history of a large-scale company - 1909
- Development of the company and expansion of the model range - 1960-1990s
- Modern Suzuki and the brightest models of the 1990s
2023 Author: Charles Youmans | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-20 18:41
Suzuki is a popular Japanese brand produced by the Suzuki Motor Corporation. The latter is a multinational corporation. The headquarters is located in Himamatsu (Japan). The list of main products includes cars, commercial vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, boat engines, wheelchairs, engines and components.
The beginning of the history of a large-scale company - 1909
The history of Suzuki begins in 1909. It was then that the founder of the company Michio Suzuki decided to form a family business for the manufacture of looms. The fact is that his family was engaged in the cultivation of cotton. As a result, the new enterprise made it possible to optimize costs and sell not raw materials, but material. The name of the company sounded like Suzuki Loom Works until 1920, after which it was reorganized and turned into Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co. At that time, the capitalization was 500,000 yen.
To develop the company, Suzuki actively recruited skilled workers and engineers. This made it possible to increase not only the number of manufactured products, but also to improve the quality. As a result, the looms became some of the best in the world, displacing British and Dutch competitors from the pedestal. What's more, Suzuki machines were nominated for their contribution to the Japanese economy. The government awarded the inventions with the Blue Ribbon Medal.
Large-scale successes, which turned the head of the creator, forced him to develop production. Since the looms were no longer a primary concern, he conducted market research, after which the decision was made to take up automobiles with the logo of a famous brand on them. The "trunk" of the company had excellent engines, for example a boat, Suzuki, thus, was a little closer to the field than other competitors. The new project started in 1937. In the first couple of years, the company managed to project two prototypes of future Suzuki compact cars. Specifications assumed a hydrocooled, 4-cylinder, 800 cc aluminum crankcase engine. As a result, they developed a maximum of 13 hp.
The Second World War made its own adjustments. The company had to stop developing light vehicles because the government considered the civilian auto industry a "non-essential commodity," which seemed to put a heavy point on previous developments. After the end of hostilities, Suzuki returned to basics - they began to sell agricultural implements, musical instruments, heaters. The United States played an important role in the history of the brand, which approved the transportation of cotton to Japan, which gave a sharp impetus to the rise in popularity of textile products. But, the moment for building a business was not long, after 5 years the cotton market collapsed.
On the other hand, the collapse played into the hands of the founder of the company, he had the opportunity to return to the design of cars accessible to all citizens. So, the first product released by Suzuki is a bicycle on which a Suzuki motor was installed. It received the name PowerFree and soon became famous for its 36 cc 1 hp motor. The features of the system made it possible not only to rely on the power of the motor, but also to strengthen it using conventional pedals. Moreover, the cyclist could choose one of the ways - to rely on the motor completely or to pedal. The success of the model not only inspired the engineers, but also earned a subsidy from the Japanese government, more precisely from the patent office. This grant allowed further development of the direction.
In 1954, a record was recorded: a Suzuki motorcycle was sold with a circulation of 6,000 in one month. In the meantime, the company changes its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. In the same year, the first car of the brand appears on the market - the front-wheel drive Suzulight. Despite the title of "first-born" independent suspensions are installed on all wheels. In addition, there is a gear steering rack. As a "donor" can be called a similar car - Lloyd LP400, from which the "Japanese" got the engine and two-stroke engine. This model became a contender for the “people's car,” a program run by the local government. The basic requirements were met by Suzuki: the price did not exceed 150,000 yen, the speed reached 100 km / h, and the number of passenger seats was equal to four.
In 1956, an updated version of the Suzulight was released with an increased engine power up to 180 horsepower. The suspension was changed as it was initially unable to cope with low-quality roads. As a result, the springs and levers were replaced with leaf springs. Towards the end of the year, 14-inch tires appeared that finally made this Suzuki model organic. Photos are confirmed by the improvement in the appearance of the first car.
Development of the company and expansion of the model range - 1960-1990s
Beginning in 1962, the company began developing cars under the name Fronte. The manufacturer relied on this name as a symbol of the company's leading position in the development of key cars. A prepared two-door sedan was shown in early 1967. At that time, the Fronte 360 was equipped with an air-cooled engine located at the rear. The volume was 356 "cubes", and along with it they installed a 4-speed "mechanics".
Japanese companies often used high-profile advertisements to promote their own products. Suzuki was no exception, with flamboyant ads instantly responding to demand. The manufacturer's plans included the release of 3 thousand copies per month, as a result, the excitement allowed to increase the production capacity to 9,000 copies per month. A year later, the Fronte SS with 36 hp appeared on the market, and in the 70th a sports modification with the SSS index. In 1969, the company went out with this model for export, having previously turned it into a Fronte 500 with a powerful engine of 475 cubic meters and 29 hp. This model allowed to bring Suzuki to a higher level of recognition, reviews of which were positive, both from critics and from buyers.
From that moment on, the Suzuki automobile industry developed. The lineup expands with the introduction of the Carry in 1961. The K-truck was produced under this name until 1982, after which it was renamed Suzuki Every. Front- and all-wheel drive versions were provided for the buyer's choice. The company enters into numerous agreements with different countries, so the light truck has managed to visit some countries under different names, such as Chevrolet or Ford.
In 1970, the future "legend" - Suzuki Jimny entered the market. Even then, the model showed excellent demand. It was popular in all countries, which allowed the company to strengthen its position in the world market. Starting with this model, the path of four-wheel drive vehicles opens up. You can buy Suzuki with a 359-797 "cube" engine, aggregated by a 4-speed manual gearbox.
1979 is associated with brand fans with the appearance of the Alto kei-car. The main qualities of the latter are efficiency and low price. At the moment, the company has already released the eighth generation. At first, it was produced as a three-door version of the Fonte with a reinforced platform for the transport of goods. For convenience, the rear seat had a folding mechanism, which increased the volume of the cargo. In the maximum power, the developed "horse power" reaches 28 forces. In a short time, the car has become very popular. Suzuki's affordable parts and low price have played a role. Alto sold at a price of 1.9 thousand dollars, while the basic version of the Pinto cost 4, 999 thousand dollars. A little later, similar cars from competing brands began to reduce the price in the same way. This move put Suzuki in seventh place among Japanese automakers. In 1985, the millionth copy of the Alto was sold in Japan.
In 1981, changes took place in the management of the company: 5, 3% of the shares were bought by General Motors as a result of an agreement on cooperation in the development of compact cars. The agreement also provides for the participation of Isuzu Motors. At the same time, the 25th Tokyo Motor Show took place, where the company presented the first successful car - Cultus, later renamed Suzuki Swift. At first, it was equipped with a three-cylinder liter engine. In 1986, a new flagship was introduced - the GTI. The three-door hatchback received innovative equipment - electronic fuel injection.
6 years after the conclusion of the contract with Isuzi and General Motors, the management signs a contract with Mazda Motor Corp. On the basis of the agreement, a joint production is opened, the total production of which reaches 10 million vehicles in 1989. In the same year, the manufacturer decides to experiment and brings to the market the Suzuki Bandit motorcycle line, a series consisting of 8 models.
In 1990, the company was renamed Suzuki Motor Corporation again. In 1996, the company brings to Russia the lightweight scooter Suzuki Leta or AC50.
Modern Suzuki and the brightest models of the 1990s
Suzuki negotiates with General Motors Corporation to collaborate on the development of compact cars. In 1998, all theses were clearly formulated, including the deepening of cooperation and the creation of a basis for the subsequent formation of a strategic alliance. A year later, the compact Aerio car, presented at the Geneva Motor Show, appears. The car comes out in the back of a 5-door hatchback and 4-door sedan. The name of the European model was shortened, so it was introduced as Suzuki M. The older available engine made it possible to install not only front-wheel drive, but also all-wheel drive.
In the same year, Suzuki Escudo appears, which will come to the market called Grand Vitara. In 2000, Suzuki Ignis was presented, representing the B-class in the model range of the Japanese company. It incorporates the best features of a hatchback, SUV and minivan, and the previously popular model Suzuki Wagon R Plus is used as a platform. As a result, a mini-SUV with a high ground clearance of 17 centimeters appears on the market.
In 2001, Suzuki Liana entered the market. The sedan is becoming a modern replacement for the outdated Baleno or Aerio. In 2003 the company received another title. They get a reward. as a leader in the production of kei cars over a 30-year period. By this time, Suzuki was actively developing an alternative powered engine. In 2003, the Suzuki Twin hybrid kei car was introduced. The car reaches a record low fuel consumption - only 2.93 liters per 100 kilometers. At this time in the lineup there is Smart Fortwo, which, due to its compact size and economy, is considered exclusively "feminine". It provided for special "chips", for example, the front seat could be folded, which turned it into a small table or horizontal stand.
2003 also marked the beginning of cooperation between the designated brand and French Fiat. It is this year that the management openly announces the start of joint development to create a compact SUV - Suzuki Magyar.
The second half of the 2000s will be remembered as the time of the development of the SUV segment. Crossover sales are reaching new heights, so all manufacturers are striving to keep up with the trend. As a result, the "star" of the brand - Suzuki SH4 comes to Geneva. Its development was also entrusted to the shoulders of French engineers. A little later, an all-wheel-drive cross - HL7 will arrive in New York.
In Russia, this company appeared only in 1999 with the opening of Suzuki Motor RUS LLC. In 2010 alone, a Japanese car manufacturer buys out 50% of its shares from an official Russian importer. At this point, there is a high popularity among Suzuki Vitara Grand and SH4. In 2015, another model comes to Russia - Suzuki Balena, which has already found popularity in Japan, India and North America.
In 2007, there was a discussion of opening a Japanese enterprise in Shushary (St. Petersburg), but the 2008 crisis disrupted the automaker's plans, so the project was postponed indefinitely.