Timeline

1909 - The early days

1909

Oct

1909 Suzuki Loom

Michio Suzuki founds Suzuki Loom Works in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture

1920

Mar

Company is incorporated and capitalized at ¥500,000 as Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co. with Michio Suzuki as president

1952

Jun

1952 Power Free 36

Suzuki enters the motor-vehicle field with the Power Free 36cc, 2-cycle motorized bicycle

1953

Mar

Diamond Free 60cc, 2-cycle motorized bicycle debuts and its monthly production exceeds 6,000 units

1954

Jun

Company changes its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd

1955

Mar

1955 Colleda

Colleda 125cc, 2-cycle motorcycle debuts

Oct

1955 Suzulight

Suzulight 360cc, 2-cycle minivehicle debuts, helping to usher in Japan’s mini-vehicle age 58

Oct

Suzuki adopts the “S” mark as its corporate emblem

1959

Jun

Suzuki wins the 50cc-class championship in the Isle of Man TT race

Aug

Colleda Sel Twin 125cc, 2-cycle, 2-cylinder motorcycle with electric start and Suzulight 360cc, 2-cycle mini commercial vehicle debut

Sep

Colleda Sel Twin 125cc, 2-cycle, 2-cylinder motorcycle with electric start and Suzulight 360cc, 2-cycle mini commercial vehicle debut

1962

The Colemans Family establish the foundations for Suzuki in New Zealand

1963

Nov

U.S. Suzuki Motor Corp. is established in Los Angeles as a direct sales subsidiary

Aug

Fronte 800 2-cycle subcompact passenger vehicle debuts

1967

Jan

K50 50cc, 2-cycle motorcycle debuts

Mar

The first motorcycle plant outside Japan is established in Thailand

Apr

Fronte 360cc, 2-cycle mini-vehicle debuts

1968

Mar

Carry Van 360cc, 2-cycle mini full-cab van debuts

1970 - The boom years

1970

Apr

1970 Jimny

Jimny 360cc, 2-cycle mini 4×4 vehicle (LJ series) debuts

Oct

Kosai Plant is built for automobiles in Kosai, Shizuoka, Japan

Nov

Fronte 71 360cc, 2-cycle mini-vehicle debuts

1971

Sep

Fronte Coupe 360cc, 2-cycle mini-vehicle debuts
GT750 750cc, 2-cycle motorcycle debuts.

1972

Mar

1972 GT380

GT380 371cc, 2-cycle motorcycle debuts

Oct

Suzuki parts manufacturing company is established in Akita, Japan

1973

Rob and Bob take over the management of Colemans Suzuki from father Percy, which included the wholesale/distribution company and automotive, motorcycle and marine retail in Wanganui plus retail outlets in Hamilton, Auckland and Christchurch.

May

Jitsujiro Suzuki is appointed as president and Shunzo Suzuki as chairman

Jun

Suzuki Canada Ltd. (a direct sales subsidiary) is established in Ontario, Canada

1974

Apr

Suzuki enters the medical equipment field with the launch of the Motor Chair Z600 motorized wheelchair

Jun

P.T. Suzuki Indonesia Manufacturing (a joint venture for part production) is established in Jakarta, Indonesia

1975

May

Suzuki begins its first overseas car production with assembly of the Jimny LJ50 4×4 car in Pakistan

1976

Jun

Fronte 7S 450cc, 2-cycle mini-car debuts

Nov

GS motorcycle series (400cc, 500cc, 750cc, 4-cycle) debuts

1977

Oct

- Jimny 8 (LJ80), 800cc, 4-cycle subcompact 4WD vehicle debuts
- Fronte 7S 550cc, 2-cycle mini-car debuts

1977

Coleman’s build an automobile assembly plant in Wanganui and start assembling 4WD LJ80 / LJ81, Alto SS80 and ST90V models

Jun

Osamu Suzuki is appointed as president and Jitsujiro Suzuki as chairman

1979

May

1979 Alto

Alto 550cc, 2-cycle mini-vehicle debuts
Fronte 550cc, 2 & 4-cycle mini-vehicle debuts

1980 - Consolidation

1980

Jan

GSX motorcycle series (250cc, 400cc, 750cc, 4-cycle) debut

Feb

Suzuki Australia Pty. Ltd. (a sales joint venture) is established in Sydney, Australia

1981

Mar

Consolidated sales reach ¥500 billion

May

New Jimny 4x4 minicar debuts

Oct

1981 Katana

GSX 1100S Katana 1100cc, 4-cycle motorcycle debuts in overseas markets

1982

Feb

GSX750S motorcycle debuts

Jun

1982 Alto

New Alto minivehicle debuts

Aug

- LT125 125cc, 4-cycle all-terrain vehicle debuts
- Jimny 1000 1.0-litre 4x4 vehicle debuts

1983

Mar

RG250Γ 250cc, 2-cycle sportbike debuts

Oct

1982 Alto

Cultus (Swift/Forsa/SA310) 1.0-litre passenger vehicle debuts

1984

Feb

Suzuki Motor Corporation purchase the company from Colemans, rename it and establish it as Suzuki New Zealand Limited in Wanganui

Mar

GSX-R 400cc, 4-cycle sportbike debuts

Apr

Suzuki starts exporting 1.0-litre cars to US automaker General Motors

Aug

Suzuki wins the driver championship for the 10th consecutive year at the World Motorcross Grand Prix 125

Sep

New Alto and New Fronte 550cc, 4-cycle mini-vehicles debut

1985

Mar

1985 GSX-R750

GSX-R750 750cc, 4-cycle motorcycle debuts

1986

May

Aggregate exports of Suzuki cars from Japan reach 2 million units

1987

Dec

Suzuki Automotive assembly plant closed in Castlecliff, Wanganui

1988

May

1988 Vitara (Escudo)

Vitara (Escudo) 1.6-litre, 4-cycle compact 4x4 vehicle debuts

Jul

Aggregate car production reaches 10 million units worldwide

1990 - Innovation

1990

Sep

Vitara compact 4x4 5-door debuts

Oct

Company changes its name to Suzuki Motor Corporation

1991

Mar

Consolidated sales reach ¥1 trillion

Nov

1991 Cappuccino

Cappuccino mini two-seater convertible debuts

1993

May

Jimny Sierra 1300 4x4 car debuts

Sep

1993 Wagon R

Wagon R mini-vehicle debuts

Dec

Wagon R wins 1993–94 RJC New Car of the Year award

1994

Apr

Aggregate sales of Suzuki cars in Japan reach 10 million units

Nov

New Alto mini-vehicle debuts

1995

Apr

- Aggregate exports of Suzuki motorcycles from Japan reach 20 million units
- Baleno passenger vehicle debuts

1997

Mar

Aggregate export units of automobiles from Japan reach 10 million units

Aug

Suzuki plants in Japan receive ISO9002 quality-assurance certification

Nov

1997 Grand Vitara

New Grand Vitara compact 4x4 vehicle debuts

1998

Jan

New Jimny compact 4x4 vehicle debuts

May

Suzuki and General Motors agree on joint development in Europe

Oct

- New mini-vehicles Alto, Wagon R+ and Jimny debut simultaneously
- Suzuki starts supplying motorcycle engine technology to Aprilia S.p.A. in Italy

1999

Jan

1999 GSX1300R Hayabusa - New Carry Van debuts
- GSX1300R Hayabusa 1300cc, 4-cycle motorcycle debuts

Jun

Suzuki New Zealand stops importing and distributing Suzuki outboard motors

Aug

Aggregate motorcycle production reaches 40 million units worldwide

2000 - Globalisation

2000

Sep

XL-7 7-seater sport utility vehicle with a 2.7-litre V6 engine debuts

2001

Jan

Liana (Aerio) passenger car debuts

Feb

Wagon R ASV-2 becomes first mini-vehicle to be approved by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for studies on advanced vehicle safety

Oct

Suzuki and General Motors agree to cooperate on fuel cell technologies

Nov

SNZ is the first 100% Suzuki-owned subsidiary in the world to be run without a resident Japanese Managing Director

Nov

- Chevrolet Cruze passenger vehicle jointly developed by Suzuki and General Motors
Liana (Aerio) Sedan passenger vehicle debuts

2002

Nov

Despite feasibility studies requested by SMC, for relocating the company to Auckland, Suzuki New Zealand stays in Wanganui as these establish there are no real benefits in moving northward.

Jan

Aggregate global sales of Suzuki cars reach 30 million units

Jun

2002 Burgman

650 Burgman large scooter debuts

Jul

- Suzuki develops the first direct-injection turbo engine for mini-vehicles
Suzuki and Fiat agree on joint development of new sport utility vehicle

Oct

Suzuki receives ministerial approval to test fuel-cell car on public roads

2004

Jan

Aggregate sales of Suzuki mini-vehicles in Japan reach 15 million units

Feb

20 year celebrations for Suzuki New Zealand

Nov

2004 Suzuki Swift

New Swift compact car debuts

2005

May

Grand Vitara

New Grand Vitara compact 4x4 vehicle debuts

Nov

Swift wins 2005–2006 Japan Car of the Year “Most Fun” award and 2006 RJC Car of the Year award

2006

Boulevard M100R - SX4 crossover sport utility vehicle jointly developed by Suzuki and Fiat debuts
- Boulevard M100R debuts

Oct

XL7 midsize crossover sport utility vehicle with a 3.6-litre V6 engine debuts in U.S

2007

Jul

SX4 Sporthatch

SX4 Sedan compact car debuts

2008

Jan

Suzuki enters the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)

Jun

Aggregate global sales of Swift reach 1 million units

2016 - The future

With its strong focus on the development of innovative compact cars, Suzuki is set to play a major part in the future of the automotive industry.

Our efforts to achieve more fuel efficient transport, with lower CO2 emissions will become even more important as we tackle the problems associated with global warming and a reduction in natural resources. This does not mean that we need to neglect style and performance.

Suzuki’s new products continue to set new standards, allowing its customers to enjoy the best technology, design and quality at an affordable price. That’s the Suzuki Way of Life.