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Suzuki Motor: Adapting To Prosper

May 21, 2012

There are many stories of companies that have not been able to keep up with the times and stubbornly stuck to their old products and practices until they eventually had to close shop. At times companies do realize the change but then it’s too late or they find it difficult to adapt.

For Suzuki Motor Corporation few would have thought that before it went into motorcycles and small cars it was producing looming equipment. In 1909 Michio Suzuki established Suzuki Loom Works. It was a manufacturer of weaving machines. It was therefore the supplier of equipment to textile companies which were producing clothing. The textile industry was vibrant during those times so business was good. In fact the company was taken public in 1920 and named Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company.

Early then the company was already thinking of diversifying, experimenting with small car prototypes. This never got off the ground with WW II approaching.  After the war Suzuki went back to producing textile manufacturing equipment. Unfortunately the environment was not right. With poverty all around woven products was not a priority. Hence, there were few companies who could or would buy their equipments.

This may have been the end for some companies but for Suzuki it was able to realize its core strength of being able to manufacture.  The company in 1951 started producing clip-on motors for bicycles. It was aware that the war devastated country needed transportation. In 1952 Suzuki began production of the Power Free moped. The company then shifted totally away from its original business of producing weaving equipments.  With this new line of product the company changed its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. in 1954 it was also the same year it manufactured its first motorcycle the Colleda.  Another company in 1961 called Suzuki Loom Works Co. was established to complete the separation.

Suzuki Motor was aware that customer needs would be increasing so instead of stagnating with only one product line it began producing lightweight vehicles in late 1954. From then on the company has been producing motorcycles that can compete with the best in the world. It still focusing on small fuel efficient cars and going into electric vehicles as well.

Suzuki has always been adapting to changing times.

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