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Suzuki was originally founded as a cotton loom company in the early 1900s. Business went well for the company; however, owner and founder Michio Suzuki wanted to diversify company products and so began building prototype small cars in the 1930s. Production of these cars came to a grinding halt at the onset of World War 2 and Suzuki went back to making cotton looms until the cotton market collapsed in 1951. At this time, Suzuki began creating the world’s first motorized bicycles, which became immensely popular with those who needed small, affordable means of transportation. The company later renamed itself Suzuki Motor Co Ltd. and went on to manufacture the 1955 Suzuki Suzulight, an innovative car with front wheel drive, independent suspension and rack and pinion steering.
In 1981, Suzuki struck a deal with General Motors that enabled Suzuki cars to be exported to the United States. Cars were shipped to India, Germany and other countries in the following years and Suzuki became a household name. Today, the company is one of the top ten car manufacturers in the world, thanks in large part to growing sales on the Indian subcontinent.
Samurai was the name given to a revamped Suzuki Jimny. The rebranding appears to have been specifically for the American market, as the Samurai was the first Suzuki vehicle to be officially marketed in the United States. In other markets, the same vehicle was still referred to as the Jimny; in Australia, it was known as the Sierra.
The Suzuki Samurai was extremely popular in the United States, despite critics’ assertations that the car was unsafe to drive. The Samurai was small yet nimble, could easily be driven off-road and had solid axles and could even be purchased as a convertible. Over 200,000 Samurai models were sold over the course of ten years. What is more, a modified Suzuki Samurai (SJ413) was used in 2007 to set a new record for height reached by a four-wheel vehicle.
The Suzuki Aerio (also known as the Liana) is a compact car that was first manufactured in 2001. While the car is still manufactured in China to this day, production in the rest of the world was discontinued in 2007. The Aerio can have either a four-door sedan body or a five-door hatchback body. It is available in front-wheel and four-wheel drive and with either four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
This model has been featured in a number of movies and TV shows, including The Wire, The Secret Circle, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dedicated, A Better Life, Waiting for Forever and Dead Moon. Not bad for a car that one reviewer described as a worthy but dull lame duck that would fail to stand out from the crowd.
The Suzuki Esteem is known by various other names in different parts of the world, including Suzuki Cultus Crescent, Suzuki Baleno, Maruti Baleno and Chevrolet Cassia. It was first manufactured in 1995 and is available as a three-door hatchback, four-door sedan and five-door station wagon. It can be purchased with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
The Suzuki Esteem was marketed in the United States and Europe until 2002. However, manufacturing and sales continued in a number of Asian countries until 2007.
Suzuki Grand Vitara
The Grand Vitara was first released in 1988 and manufacturing continues to this day. The model is on its third generation and is available in various styles and body types. First and second generation models are available as five-door SUVs, three-door SUVs and two-door convertibles while third generation models are available as either five- or three-door SUVs.
The Grand Vitara, which was an upgraded version of the Suzuki Vitara, was the first small SUV to be made with a V6 engine. What is more, it is also one of the first Suzuki vehicles to be manufactured in partnership with General Motors. The first Grand Vitara cars were assembled at General Motors’ plant in Argentina; however, the latest models are now assembled in Japan, Spain, Iran, Indonesia and Ecuador.
The Swift was first manufactured in 1983 and has been steadily produced since this time. Over four million models of this vehicle have been sold around the world and the Swift has won a plethora of auto awards, including Most Fun to Drive Car in Japan, Car of the Year Award (2006), Indian Car of the Year (2012) and the Best Small Car award from the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers (2010).
The Suzuki Swift is a compact car that is available in three body types: Five-door hatchback, four-door sedan and three-door hatchback. Present generation models are made with several different engine types and transmission types to suit the needs of a diverse worldwide market. A hybrid concept car was manufactured as part of this series in 2009.