Where will you be in 100 years time? It is certainly an interesting question, especially when you consider what we have seen in the past century of time.
Before the internet, before cellphones, before computers or televisions…before even sliced bread…there was Suzuki. That is right, this stalwart of the motorcycle industry just clocked its 100th birthday.
As you can imagine, the Japanese brand has seen quite a bit during its tenure, ever since Michio Suzuki first started his business in 1909 as Suzuki Loom Works, which then became properly the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company on March 15th, 1920.
Like many motorcycle companies, Suzuki was radically changed by World War II, but unlike many others, Suzuki-san had a vision for the transportation sector well before the war, starting work on his first car in 1937.
Of course, the development of the first Suzuki car would take a backseat to the Japanese war effort, and would be hampered by damages to Suzuki factory during the war.
But by 1954, Suzuki-san was fully focused on the automotive and motor-powered bicycle space, and formally changed the name of his company to the Suzuki Motor Company, Limited. The rest, they say is history, with the company becoming the Suzuki Motor Corporation in 1990.
Announcing the century milestone, Suzuki gave the following messages from Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki and President Toshihiro Suzuki: “This year we are celebrating our 100th anniversary. On 15th of March, 1920, Michio Suzuki founded the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Co. in Hamamatsu.”
“Since then, we have expanded our business from looms to motorcycles, automobiles, outboard motors, ATV’s and others, always adapting to the trend of the times as well as domestic and global markets. Your kind support at all times is truly the greatest factor that has enabled us to always be close to our customers’ daily lives and achieve the commemorative 100th anniversary.”
“All members of Suzuki Motor Corporation take this as an important milestone to reaffirm the founder’s philosophy of ‘focusing on customers’ and strive to deliver products to customers across the globe. This year also marks the beginning of the next century, and we all are committed to achieve even greater business performance in such important year.”
“We sincerely appreciated your continuous support.”
For reasons beyond the obvious outbreak of COVID-19, this hundred-year run has led Suzuki to an interesting point in time for the motorcycle industry. The transportation sector is rapidly changing, in all the world markets, and likely the next 100 years will take Suzuki and other brands into new waters (even outer space, most likely).
The fact that Suzuki started as a company focused on making weaving looms is perhaps telling of its future, when we think about where this marque might be in the next century. Anything is possible.
We wish them a prosperous next century of business, and are curious to see what the future has in store for the Suzuki brand.