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[beginners guide]The beginner’s guide to Suzuki

  Suzuki is a car manufacturer, except when it isn’t. You see, Suzuki actually makes a lot of things: motorbikes, ATVs, outboard engines for boats… it’s the industry’s Jack of all trades, so to speak.

  It began life as far away from cars as you can imagine, founded by Michio Suzuki in 1909 as a manufacturer of looms. The business grew steadily over the next few decades despite economic turmoil in the 1920s, and even though things were going well Michio had ambitions beyond the weaving industry. In the 1930s he began experimenting with automobiles, even going as far as building a prototype, but World War Two put those plans on hold.

  After the war, Suzuki’s decimated business was allowed to resume as plans were drawn up to kickstart the textile business in US-occupied Japan. But demand for looms had dwindled and by 1954 the company changed tack, becoming Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. A year later its first car – the 360cc, two-stroke Suzulight – went on sale, having been developed by a team containing just six people.

  In 1990 it took on the name Suzuki Motor Corporation, and today it employs tens of thousands of people. All of whom probably owe their livelihoods to the efforts of those initial six.