Overcoming many wars and crises since Suzuki was founded it always posed more and more challenges to its founders, so the products could always be born according to the given spirit of the age, from looms, car and marine engines to ATVs and motorcycles.
Suzuki's history dates back to 1909, when Michio Suzuki opened a business called Suzuki Loom Works in Hamamatsu (Sizuoka Prefecture, Japan), which in fact provided the path to success as the predecessor of the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company founded on March 15, 1920. The success of the company, which specializes in the manufacture of looms, was not long in coming, as Michio set out to produce more efficient and ergonomic machines than ever before.
In 1952, Adapting to the needs of the era, Suzuki launched its first motorized bicycle, which was called Power Free. The primary goal of the design was to provide transport accessible to many, so in addition to simple construction, a 36 cm³ two-stroke engine was used, built on a frame reminiscent of a classic bicycle. The popularity of the economical and reliable vehicle was largely due to the special double sprocket transmission, which allowed the rider to use the machine not only with the motor or foot drive, but also in combination of the two.
Japanese motorization also had an impact on traffic regulations, so under the conditions of use of small engines, so driver's license was only required in case of above 90 cm³ for 4-stroke engines and 60 cm³ for two-stroke engines. In 1953, Suzuki took the opportunity to immediately launch its bike called Diamond Free, which already had a 58 cm³ engine and a two-speed powertrain system. Diamond Free, available in many variations, was less well known in the West, but many thousands were sold in Japan.
In 1954, under a new name, Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd., the first Japanese mass-produced vehicles were launched, and with them the auxiliary engines were replaced by real large engines. This is when the Colleda was launched as a four-stroke, single-cylinder, 90 cm³, lightweight engine, and then later in March 1955 a 125 cm³, also as a four-stroke, single-cylinder version. Many modern solutions, such as the electric starter, were used during the production of the Colleda models.
From that on Suzuki engineers have set up work on new innovative engine design concepts, to develop more powerful motorcycles and racing engines. As a result of the successes, in 1960 SUZUKI entered the famous MAN Island TT, where the speed of the engines and their reliability could have been proved. Not long in comming victory, in 1962 Suzuki won its first World Championship in the 50 category at the MAN TT.
During the journey that has taken place since then, as a key player in the company's achievements in many areas and in the markets, it occupies a podium position in the field of production and sales, both domestically and world-wide. With numerous sports successes and podium finishes, Suzuki has won in almost every race, thanks to the support of fans, customers and staff, and the success of the motorcycles, which all has allowed us to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary.
The President and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Osamu Suzuki’s and President Toshihiro Suzuki’s thoughts on the anniversary:
„The glory of the 100-year-old past and the power of continuous improvement came from Suzuki’s spirituality and philosophy. The respectful support of our customers is the biggest factor that has allowed us to reach the 100th anniversary of the company with them.
Suzuki Motor Corporation and all its members see 100 years of development as a truly important milestone, which only reinforces our founding philosophy that we will continue to strive to deliver the most appropriate products around the world by focusing on our customers.”
To commemorate the anniversary, we can get an insight into Suzuki’s past 100 years through a special website.