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Suzuki Motor Corporation

legal form Kabushiki-gaisha ( joint stock company )
ISIN JP3397200001
founding February 10, 1909
Seat Hamamatsu , Shizuoka , Japan
Number of employees 54,378 (2011)
sales $ 31.4 billion (2011)
Branch Automobile and motorcycle

The company Suzuki KK ( Japanese ス ズ キ 株式会社 , Suzuki kabushiki-gaisha ; English Suzuki Motor Corporation ), listed on the Nikkei 225 , is a Japanese manufacturer of motorcycles , cars and outboard motors . After Honda, it is the world 's largest exporter of motorcycles. The German sales company of Suzuki is based in Bensheim .

Suzuki corporate headquarters in Hamamatsu

Company history

Michio Suzuki

The company's founder Michio Suzuki was born on February 10, 1887 near Hamamatsu , about 200 km southwest of Tokyo .

There he founded a company for the manufacture of looms in 1909 . This expanded rapidly, and in 1920 it went public as Suzuki-shiki shokki KK ( 鈴木 式 織機 株式会社 , Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co. ). At that time there were certainly efforts made by Suzuki to develop his own automobile - at that time Japan was extremely backward in the vehicle sector compared to Europe and America, and the demand for motor vehicles in its own country increased. In 1936 Michio Suzuki bought an Austin 7 . With his engineers he dismantled the British automobile and studied it carefully, after which they developed a prototype which they presented in the following year 1937.

Other vehicles were built, but production was soon switched to war production, which severely restricted the production of “non-essential” goods in Japan. The vehicle projects have been dropped for the time being. As early as 1937, Suzuki was producing ammunition for the Imperial Army . In the following years there were increasing military orders, Suzuki became part of the military-industrial complex .

During the Second World War , many production facilities were destroyed and production moved to other areas. After the end of the war, Suzuki manufactured agricultural machinery and fan heaters, among other things .

Development after the Second World War

In June 1952, Suzuki presented its first motorized two-wheeler, a 36cc motorized bicycle called the Power Free . The Power Free motor was also available without a bike and had 1  HP . In March of the following year 1953, the Diamond free (60 cm³ engine and 2 hp) appeared, followed by the Mini Free  1954. The first "real" motorcycle was the Colleda with a 90 cm³ four-stroke engine with 3 hp, which was presented in May 1954 has been. It was innovative for the time and was strongly based on European models. Soon the Colleda was also available with larger engines.

In the meantime, the motorcycle business was so important to Suzuki that the company was renamed Suzuki jidōsha kōgyō KK ( 鈴木 自動 車 工業 株式会社 , English Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. ) in 1954 . In the same year the production of looms was stopped.


In 1955, the Suzulight (two-cylinder engine with 360 cm³ displacement) was introduced, the first successful small car . With this vehicle, Suzuki was able to gain a real foothold in the automotive sector for the first time.

International expansion soon began. In 1963 the US sales company Suzuki Motor Corp. was founded. founded in Los Angeles . This opened up the important US market.

Other important milestones included:

  • In 1965 Suzuki introduced the D55 , an outboard motor for boat propulsion with two cylinders and 5.5 HP.
  • Moorkens (now Alcopa) was the first distribution company in Europe.
  • Motorcycles have been sold in Germany since 1969, and automobiles have also been offered on the German market since 1980.
  • The GS series is introduced in 1976. The basis is the development of the GS400 as a two-cylinder machine and the GS750D, the first four-cylinder motorcycle from Suzuki. In the same year, the smaller GS550 is added to it.

With the introduction of the four-stroke engines, the two-stroke engines in the large displacement classes were taken out of the range. Only in the lower displacement classes up to 500 cm³ remained two-stroke engines in the range until the 1980s (X5, X7, RG 500). Two-stroke engines are also still produced in the motocross sector.

  • With the first quad , the LT 125 , developed in 1982 and launched in 1983, Suzuki pioneered a new market.
  • In 1984 Suzuki presented the GSX-R750 at the International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition in Cologne .
  • In October 1990 the company name changed to Suzuki KK ( ス ズ キ 株式会社 , Suzuki Motor Corporation ).

At the beginning of 2014, 525,804 Suzuki motorcycles were registered in Germany, which corresponds to a share of 12.97%. Production for the European markets is carried out in Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia.

General Motors participation

In 1981 Suzuki agreed a closer cooperation with Isuzu and General Motors (GM). In 2000, GM doubled its stake in Suzuki for $ 653 million to 20%. In 2006, GM reduced this stake to three percent. This remaining stake was sold in November 2008 for $ 230 million. The vehicle that was marketed as the Suzuki Wagon R + and Opel or Vauxhall Agila comes from this close connection .

Suzuki today

Modified Suzuki Ignis Sport in rally use

There are six production facilities in Japan. Further plants are located in the People's Republic of China , Thailand , Indonesia , India , Pakistan , Spain , Esztergom ( Hungary ) and Egypt . Suzuki has 35 main manufacturing facilities in 24 countries and regions. Around 51,500 people are employed worldwide (as of January 2011).

The SUV models Suzuki Jimny and Suzuki Vitara (under license as Santana 300/350 ) were u. a. manufactured by Santana Motor in Linares , Spain . (The factory was closed in the summer of 2011.) The Suzuki Swift and the Suzuki Ignis were also produced for Subaru until 2007 and sold as Subaru Justy .

In January 2010, VW sealed a minority stake in Suzuki. The VW Group takes over 19.9% ​​of Suzuki, in return Suzuki will receive around 1.9% of the shares in Volkswagen AG for one billion US dollars. Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki ruled out any further participation by VW, as Suzuki should not go under as one of the many brands in the VW group. In August 2011 it was reported that talks about the cooperation between Suzuki and VW came to a standstill and that Suzuki intends to sell the VW shares again.

August 2015, the arbitration tribunal of the International Chamber of Commerce in London declared the cooperation between VW and Suzuki to be over, whereupon VW declared that it wanted to return its stake in Suzuki. On September 26, 2015, Suzuki sold its remaining 1.5% stake in Volkswagen to Porsche Automobil Holding SE .

Car models

Suzuki builds many vehicles for other manufacturers, for whom own developments in these mostly rather small segments are not worthwhile.


Timeline of Suzuki models since 1955
Type 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s 2000s 2010s
5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5
Microcar Twin
Suzulight Van Fronte Van Fronte hatch Alto I
Alto II
(CA71 / 72)
Alto III
(CL11 / 21/22)
Alto IV
Alto V
(HA12 / 22)
Alto VI
Mazda logo 2.svg Nissan Logo.svg
Alto VII
Mazda logo 2.svg Nissan Logo.svg
Suzulight Suzulight fronts Front I Front II Front III Front IV Front V Front VI Cervo mode Alto Lapin Mazda logo 2.svg Alto Lapin II / Laplin
Fronte Coupe / LC10 Cervo / SC100 Cervo II Cervo III Cervo Celerio
Panel van / minivan MR Wagon Nissan Logo.svg MR Wagon II Nissan Logo.svg MR Wagon III Nissan Logo.svg
palette Nissan Logo.svg Spacia Nissan Logo.svg
Alto Hustle Wagon R Wagon R II Wagon R III Wagon R IV Wagon RV
Wagon R Wide
(MA61S / MB61S)
Wagon R + / Wagon R Solio / Solio
(MA63S / MA64S / MA34S)Logo of General Motors.svgOpel Logo 2007.svg
Small car Cultus / SA310 Logo of General Motors.svg Cultus / Swift Logo of General Motors.svg Cultus / Swift Logo of General Motors.svg Swift (MZ / EZ) Swift (FZ / NZ)
Mini / compact SUV Kei / Ignis / Swift Logo of General Motors.svgMazda logo 2.svg Ignis Logo of General Motors.svgSubaru Logo.svg Hustler
SX4 S-Cross
Compact class Baleno / Esteem / Cultus Crescent Liana / Aerio / Baleno New G.
Middle class Verona Kizashi
Roadster cappuccino
Off-road vehicle LJ10 [1] / Jimny 55
(LJ10 / LJ20 / LJ50 / LJ80 / SJ10)
SJ / Jimny II 550/660
(SJ30 / JA11 / JA12)Logo of General Motors.svg
Jimny III
(JB23 / JB33 / JB43 / JB53)Logo of General Motors.svgMazda logo 2.svg
Jimny 8
Jimny 1000/1300 / Samurai
(SJ410 / SJ413 / JB31 / JB32)
Vitara / Escudo / Sidekick Logo of General Motors.svg
Vitara long Grand Vitara / Vitara / Escudo Grand Vitara II / Vitara / Escudo Vitara
Grand Vitara XL-7
Van Every Landy Landy Landy II
Vans Carry (FB) Carry (L20-L61) Carry (ST10-ST90) Super-Carry / Carry / Every (DA71T – DD51T)Logo of General Motors.svg Ford.svg Mazda logo 2.svg Every wagon Every wagon
Super-Carry / Carry (DA52T – DA65T)Mazda logo 2.svg Carry (DA16T)

[1] Based on the Hopestar ON developed in 1968

  • Rebadged Mazda
  • In collaboration with Fiat
  • In cooperation with Opel
  • Rebadged Daewoo Motors for USA
  • In cooperation with and on the GM platform
  • Rebadged Nissan
  • Logo of General Motors.svgModel was / is also used for / by GM built and offered as Geo, Chevrolet, Asüna, GMC, Pontiac, Holden, Bedford, Vauxhall or Daewoo
    Opel Logo 2007.svgModel was also named Opel / Vauxhall built
    Subaru Logo.svg: model was modified as / with Subaru built
    Nissan Logo.svg: model as Nissan built
    Mazda logo 2.svg: model as Mazda built
    Ford.svg: model as Ford built for Taiwan

    Car models

    Suzuki Swift, 1989
    Suzuki Baleno station wagon, 1999
    Suzuki SJ, 1984
    Suzuki Grand Vitara, 2005
    Suzuki Ignis, 2017
    Suzuki Jimny, 2018
    Suzuki Wagon R +, 2000


    Small car

    Compact class

    Middle class

    Sports car / roadster

    SUV & SUV


    Racing cars / prototypes / concept vehicles

    Motorcycle models

    Currently (2020) Suzuki sells models in Germany with the following engines (without competition models and scooters):

    design type Displacement Super sport Naked bike Sports Tourer Travel enduros Cruiser comment
    R4 999 cm³ GSX-R 1000
    GSX-R 1000 R
    GSX-S 1000
    GSX-S 1000 S.
    GSX-S 1000 F
    V2 1037 cc V-Strom 1050
    V-Strom 1050 XT
    R4 750 cc GSX-S 750
    V2 645 cc SV 650
    SV 650 X
    V-Strom 650
    V-Strom 650 XT
    A2 driving license with throttle
    R2 248 cc V-Strom 250 A2 driving license with throttle
    R1 124 cc GSX-R 125 GSX-S 125 Light motorcycles



    World title in motorcycle road racing

    Barry Sheene 's 500cc Suzuki

    Motorcycle world championship

    In total, Suzuki has won 15 drivers ' and 15 constructors' titles in the motorcycle world championship that has been held since 1949 .

    Driver title

    New ZealandNew Zealand Hugh Anderson (4)

    • World champion in the 50 cm³ class: 1963 , 1964
    • World champion in the 125 cm³ class: 1963 , 1965

    GermanyGermany Hans Georg Anscheidt (3)

    United KingdomUnited Kingdom Barry Sheene (2)

    • World champion in the 500 cm³ class: 1976 , 1977

    GermanyGermany Ernst Degner (1)

    • World champion in the 50 cm³ class: 1962

    GermanyGermany Dieter Braun (1)

    • World champion in the 125 cm³ class: 1970

    ItalyItaly Marco Lucchinelli (1)

    • World champion in the 500 cm³ class: 1981

    ItalyItaly Franco Uncini (1)

    • World champion in the 500 cm³ class: 1982

    United StatesUnited States Kevin Schwantz (1)

    • World champion in the 500 cm³ class: 1993

    United StatesUnited States Kenny Roberts Jr. (1)

    • World champion in the 500 cm³ class: 2000
    Troy Corser in the year he won the title

    Superbike World Championship

    All in all, Suzuki has so far been able to achieve a driver's and a constructor's world title in the Superbike World Championship , which has been held since 1988 .

    Driver title

    AustraliaAustralia Troy Corser (1)

    • Superbike World Champion: 2005

    World Supersport Championship

    All in all, Suzuki has so far been able to achieve a driver's and a constructor's world title in the Supersport World Championship , which has been held since 1999 .

    Driver title

    FranceFrance Stéphane Chambon (1)

    • Supersport world champion: 1999

    ATV / Quad products


    • ALT 125 (3-wheeler) from 1983
    • LT 125 (4-wheeler) from 1983
    • LT 80 (4-wheeler) from 1984
    • ALT 185 (3-wheeler) from 1984
    • LT 185 (4-wheeler) from 1984
    • LT 50 (4-wheeler) from 1985
    • LT 230 S (4-wheeler) from 1985
    • LT 230 R (4-wheeler) from 1985
    • LTF 250 (4-wheeler) from 1985
    • LTF 280 (4-wheeler) from ???
    • LT 230 G (4-wheeler) from 1986
    • LT 230 H (4-wheeler) from 1986
    • LT 230 E (4-wheeler) from 1987
    • LT 300 E (4-wheeler) from 1991
    • LT 300 King Quad (4-wheeler) from ???
    • LTF 500 F (4-wheeler) from 1998
    • LTV 700 (4-wheeler) from 2004
    Children's quad QuadSport Z50

    Current Quad models:

    • LTZ 250
    • LTZ 400
    • LTR 450
    • QuadSport Z50

    Current ATV models:

    • KingQuad 450
    • KingQuad LT-A700
    • KingQuad LT-A750


    • Joachim Kuch, Jürgen Gaßebner: Suzuki. Motorcycles since 1952 , Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-613-02091-2 .
    • Joachim Kuch: Suzuki. Motorcycles since 1970 Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-613-02443-8 .

    Web links

    Commons : Suzuki  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. annual report 2011
    2. Quarterly Report 2011/3
    3. Activity report on
    4. FZ 17 (accessed on April 28, 2015)
    5. Conquer Asia with Suzuki . manager magazine. September 14, 2000. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
    6. General Motors leaves Suzuki . Handelsblatt. November 17, 2008. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
    7. We will not become the twelfth Volkswagen brand. Süddeutsche Zeitung, December 9, 2009, accessed on November 17, 2011 .
    8. Fiat flatters VW's unfaithful partner Suzuki. Financial Times Deutschland, September 14, 2009, archived from the original on September 27, 2011 ; Retrieved November 17, 2011 .
    9. ^ Judgment in the dispute between VW and Suzuki. Handelsblatt, August 30, 2015, accessed on August 31, 2015 .
    11. without team class