Suzuki Cars

Suzuki was established in 1909 by Michio Suzuki as Suzuki Loom Works, producing looms and weaving machines for the Japanese silk industry. While Suzuki had a highly successful business, he knew that the company would have to diversify if it was to continue. He decided that he would enter the automobile market, and in 1937, began the development of his first prototype vehicles.

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Suzuki After World War II

World War II put a halt to all major civilian car production as the Japanese government deemed them to be non-essential commodities. This stopped Suzuki's plans until after the war and the company went back to producing looms full time. When the cotton market collapsed in 1951, Suzuki turned his thoughts back to motor vehicles, both motorcycles and lightweight cars. In 1954, the company changed its name to the Suzuki Motor Company, Ltd. in line with its change in industry focus.

For several years, Suzuki successfully produced motorcycles before launching its first car, the Suzuki Suzulight. This car was sold only in Japan and was produced from 1955 until 1969. In 1963, Suzuki opened a sales subsidiary in Los Angeles under the company name, U.S. Suzuki Motor Corporation. As this was a direct sales subsidiary of the parent company, any Suzuki vehicles sold in America were imported and not built in the U.S.

Suzuki in America

In 1985, the Suzuki of America Automotive Corporation was established. With the formation of this company, Suzuki launched the Samurai, the first vehicle officially marketed by Suzuki in the U.S. While this was a new car in the U.S. market, Suzuki was producing them since 1968. The Samurai, or the SJ413 as it was known in other markets, was classed as a mini SUV. It had seating for two and came in a convertible or hardtop version. This vehicle was extremely popular due to its excellent off-road performance and reliability. The Samurai was withdrawn from American and Canadian markets in 1995 and replaced by the Suzuki Sidekick.

In 1986, the American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) was created through the merger of Suzuki of America Automotive Corporation and the U.S. Suzuki Motor Corporation. Prior to the official launch of the Samurai, Suzuki had been selling a version of its Cultus model as the Chevrolet Sprint through an agreement with General Motors in 1985. It was a three-door hatchback and was the smallest model available from Chevrolet. The ASMC released the second generation of the Cultus as the Suzuki Swift in 1989.

Suzuki Models

The Swift was launched in 1990 as a three- or five-door hatchback and a four-door sedan version. The Cultus was replaced by the first generation of Suzuki Swifts in 2000. Both three- and five-door hatchback versions were available with automatic or manual transmission. The Swift was launched at the same time as the Suzuki Sidekick, which had a two-door convertible or hardtop off-road vehicle. In 1991, a four-door version was also released. The Sidekick underwent a facelift in 1996 and a Sport version was launched at this time. The Sidekick Sport was short lived and replaced by the Grand Vitara in 1999, which is currently in its third generation.

The Suzuki Esteem was launched by the ASMC in 1995 to replace the Swift four-door sedan. In 1996, a station wagon version of the Esteem was introduced to the market. These were short-lived vehicles as they were replaced in 2002 by the Aerio that had a four-door sedan and a five-door crossover SUV variation with all-wheel drive. In 2001, the Swift was dropped from the North American market. The launch of the SX4 ended production of the Aerio.

Suzuki Products and Technologies

The current models available from Suzuki include the Kizashi, SX4, Grand Vitara and Equator. The Kizashi is a midsize four-door sedan that has been available since 2010. In Japanese, Kizashi means warning or omen, so it is thought that this name was used as a means of suggesting that great things are coming from Suzuki. It is currently the company's flagship sedan.

The Suzuki SX4 is available in three different versions: the sedan, sportback and all-wheel drive crossover. Originally developed as a compact car, the SX4 was first released as a five-door hatchback. The SX4 sedan has a more aerodynamic shape, compared to the sportback and crossover version. The other two versions are five-door hatchbacks. The sportback version went through cosmetic changes, as well as being lower on its suspension than the all-wheel drive version.

The Equator is a midsized pickup truck that is sold by Suzuki, but assembled by Nissan. It is available as a two-door or four-door crew cab version and has been on the market since 2009.

Select a Suzuki Model

Suzuki Aerio

2007-2002 | Compact, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon

Like so many others of the big automotive company names, the Suzuki car manufacturing company started out as something entirely different.

Suzuki Equator

2012-2009 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

The first Suzuki Equator was marketed for the 2009 model year.

Suzuki Esteem

2002-1996 | Compact, Sedan, Wagon

The Suzuki Esteem was known for its position in Suzuki’s lineup in the subcompact sedan class.

Suzuki Forenza

2008-2004 | Compact, Sedan

The Suzuki Forenza is a comfortable, economical vehicle that offers value for its low price.

Suzuki Forenza Wagon

2008-2005 | Compact, Wagon

The Suzuki Forenza compact car was first unveiled in 2004. It has a wagon-like style that complemented the actual lineup that arrived a year later.

Suzuki Grand Vitara

2013-1999 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

Over a century ago, Japanese entrepreneur Michio Suzuki founded the Suzuki Loom Works intending to capitalize on the Far East’s booming silk market.

Suzuki Kizashi

2013-2010 | Midsize, Sedan

While most people think of American or the European car makers when thinking about automotive history, it is important to not forget the contributions made by the Asian manufacturers.

Suzuki Reno

2008-2005 | Compact, Hatchback

There are automotive companies that started out as carriage or buggy companies, heavy industrial plants, and military factories.

Suzuki Samurai

1995 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Suzuki Samurai is an upgraded version of the SJ413, which is part of the Suzuki Jimny vehicle class.

Suzuki Sidekick

1998-1995 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Suzuki Sidekick was introduced to the North American market in 1989, although it was originally launched in Japan as the Suzuki Escudo.

Suzuki Swift

2001-1996 | Compact, Hatchback

The Suzuki Swift offers another space saving, economic option for the city driver.

Suzuki SX4

2013-2011, 2007 | Compact, Sedan, SUV, Utility/Offroad

With a company history that stretches 103 years, the Suzuki Motor Corporation has the type of global reach that few of its competitors can lay claim to.

Suzuki SX4 Crossover

2013-2008 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Suzuki SX4 Crossover is a four-door hatchback that targets mostly American consumers.

Suzuki SX4 Sport

2011-2008 | Compact, Sedan

Suzuki SX4 Sportback

2013-2010 | Compact, Hatchback

When it comes to the automotive industry, many of the industry’s leading companies started out manufacturing something besides cars or trucks.

Suzuki Verona

2006-2004 | Midsize, Sedan

The Suzuki Verona competes, or rather fails to compete, in the midsize sedan class of the market.

Suzuki Vitara

2004-1999 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Suzuki Vitara has amazing off-road capabilities.

Suzuki X-90

1998-1996 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Suzuki X-90 was first introduced in 1996.

Suzuki XL7

2009-2007 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Suzuki XL7 is Suzuki’s take on what a midsize SUV must look like.

Suzuki XL-7

2006-2001 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The history of the Suzuki Motor Corporation owes its very existence to the collapse of the cotton market in 1951 when its creator, Michio Suzuki, was forced to return to an earlier passion: motorized vehicles.