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Suzuki Motor Corporation is a worldwide company with its headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan's Minami-ku. Suzuki produces a range of tiny internal combustion engines, including wheelchairs, outboard marine engines, all-terrain vehicles, and motorbikes.


Michio Suzuki (1887–1982) established the Suzuki Loom Works in 1909 in the sleepy Japanese seaside town of Hamamatsu. As Suzuki constructed weaving looms for Japan's massive silk industry, business soared. Michio Suzuki created a brand-new style of weaving machine in 1929, and it was marketed abroad. The first 30 years of the business were devoted to the creation and manufacture of these equipment.

Suzuki thought that his business would benefit from diversification despite the popularity of his looms, so he started looking at other items. He determined that creating a compact automobile would be the most realistic new endeavor based on market desire. Within two years of the project's start in 1937, Suzuki had finished a number of small prototype vehicles. The original Suzuki automobiles were propelled by a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine that was revolutionary at the time. It featured a crankcase and gearbox made of cast aluminum, and although having a less-than-800cc displacement, it produced 13 horsepower (9.7 kW).

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.

Suzuki went back to making cars in response to this enormous task. The Japanese had a huge need for accessible, trustworthy personal transportation after the war. A number of manufacturers began producing "clip-on" gas-powered motors that could be fitted to the standard bicycle. Suzuki's first two-wheeled vehicle was a bicycle modified with a motor named, the "Power Free." The 1952 Power Free had a 36 cc, one horsepower, two-stroke engine and was meant to be cheap, easy to construct, and maintain. The rider may choose between pedaling with engine assistance, pedaling without engine assistance, or simply disengaging the pedals and running solely on engine power thanks to the revolutionary double-sprocket gear system. Suzuki received financial support from the new democratic government's patent office.

In 1954, Suzuki's firm was producing 6,000 bikes per month, and its name had been changed to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. Suzuki built the 1955 Suzuki Suzulight, a vehicle that was even more popular than his early motorbikes. Front-wheel drive, four-wheel independent suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering were all available options for the Suzulight, which were not standard features on automobiles until thirty years later.

AUTOMOBILE - Global Suzuki › automobile

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