The success story of Suzuki Motor Corporation as today’s fourth largest automaker in Japan all started with an inspiration to create motorized bicycles that anyone can easily use.
But before cementing its nameplate as a manufacturer of superior-quality motorcycles, automobiles, and outboard motors, Suzuki started out as a company that provided loom weaving equipment in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture in 1902.
Founded by accomplished innovator and inventor Michio Suzuki, the company was built to help the Enshu District weaving industry and the other businesses in the city.
What enabled Suzuki to be successful in its initial field was its manufacturing principles called “monozukuri”. By listening to customers’ needs while at the same time giving value to hard work, Suzuki was able to propel the company into its initial path to success.
In March 1920, the company underwent reorganization and incorporated Suzuki as president of Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company – the precursor of the modern-day Suzuki. With the success in the looms business and his guiding principles, Suzuki was able to lead the company to diversify into the motor vehicle transport industry which was a crucial advancement in Japan.
Enshu winds and the rise of the motorized two wheels
The development of Suzuki motorcycles began when Shunzo Suzuki, managing director of Suzuki, was riding his bicycle against a headwind blowing from the coastal pine forest of the Enshu Region. As he pedaled along the coastline, an idea of a motorized bicycle that anyone can easily handle and ride suddenly formed in his mind.
In 1954, the Suzuki Colleda made its debut. The 90cc motorcycle embodied what the company valued most in producing motorcycles: easy to ride, strong, and long-lasting.
The rise of the motorized four wheels
Michio Suzuki and his company’s “monozukuri” principle fueled his long-cherished development of automobiles. Unfortunately, this was pushed aside due to the onset of World War II.
Despite limited money and resources after the war and 18 years after the initial development began, the automobile development program was finally reinstated and work began in earnest.
Finally in 1955, the passion, craftsmanship and a deep understanding of what customers desired was realized in Japan’s first automobile – the “Suzulight”. Fast forward to today, the dream of Michio Suzuki has continued to fuel the company with the launch of many products that more and more people continue to appreciate.
From loom to outboard motors, the rise of no wheels
Suzuki’s reputation as an ingenious and quality manufacturer of small reliable combustion engines eventually led the company to supply another transportation platform, the outboard motor engine for marine transport in 1965 when the “ultimate 4-stroke outboard” was launched.
Its global reputation soared even further as the engine became known for better acceleration, better fuel efficiency, and better value.
Suzuki Philippines 35th year in the Philippines
Alongside Suzuki Motor Corporation’s 100th anniversary, Suzuki Philippines is also celebrating its 35th year with the local subsidiary as the only integrated company that is carrying motorcycle, automobile and outboard Motor products in Asia.
With 68 dealership groups and a network of 3,079 shops, Suzuki Motorcycle has successfully dominated the underbone market with the Smash, touted as the number one selling Underbone in the Leisure category and the Raider R150, acknowledged as the “Underbone King” for being the highest selling model in the Underbone Sport category. Both models have sold more than double their competitors over the years.
Solidifying its presence with a 21.17 per cent increase covering all quarters in 2019, Suzuki Automobile has steadily captured market share. Jumping three places to now becoming 5th in the Philippine market, the boost in sales was the realization of the company’s aggressive efforts throughout 2019, leading to top models Ertiga, Vitara and Celerio becoming some of the market’s most enjoyed vehicles of the year.
The newest addition to Suzuki Philippines is the Outboard Motor or marine business. With six dealerships, it has achieved 205 per cent sales growth in 2019. The division’s sales and after sales teams have left competitors continuously turning heads in the business through excellent service to marine customers.