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Suzuki started its activities in Tokyo in 1909 as the producer of looms. After the launch at the stock market in 1920, the Japanese company committed itself to the automotive industry.
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The first prototype was released in 1937 and was built on the platform of the Austin 7, which was presented in 1909 in the United Kingdom. The company founder Michio Suzuki had brought the Austin 7 into the country to examine it, in order to meet the increasing demand for automobiles.
Suzuki started to showcase more and more cars, but due the war the vehicle production was transformed into military orders. After the end of the military-industrial occupation, the company’s portfolio had shifted. Suzuki first produced agricultural machines and heaters after the reconstruction of destroyed production plants and the end of war.
From 1952 the company entered the market for motorized vehicles. In this context, some motor-driven bicycles were launched such as the Powerfree from 1952, the DiamondFree from 1953 and the MiniFree 1954. The first motorbike was introduced in 1954, that’s why the production of motorcycles was about to be the core business of Suzuki. The success in this field sealed the end of the loom production in the same year. The first motorcycle called Colleda could be technically improved and was offered with larger engines.
Gradually, Suzuki was able to hold its own position on the vehicle market and renamed itself as Suzuki Motor Cooperation in 1954. Suzulight was the company's first own model, with which the company succeeded to enter the automotive industry permanently.
The two-cylinder car rolled off the assembly line in 1955. The model belonged to the Kei-Car class, so-called "light mobile", that means small cars, which were already decisive for the Japanese market. Today small cars make up one third of all cars in the country. The Suzuki Suzulight was manufactured until 1969 in the car body variant of small cars.
The Suzuki Fronte followed in 1962, which had been derived from the second Suzulight TL Van as notchback version. The model, equipped with a rear engine, was constantly developed further until 1976. Even if in the 1960s and 1970s, looking at Europe and the US in general larger cars were built, Suzuki continued to rely on the construction of mini and small cars. In 1961, the first minivan - the Carry, a box-type lorry, was produced, which is still produced in a modified form today. In this segment Suzuki is as a direct competitor of Honda.