Michio Suzuki: Biography and Story of the Founder of the Suzuki Company

Michio Suzuki is known as the founder of the Suzuki company, a famous Japanese automotive company that produces motorbikes and cars. This farmer’s son founded the Suzuki company, which was originally a company that produced weaving machines. He founded Suzuki in 1909 when he was still 22 years old. He is known as a hard worker and never gives up. What’s the story?

Michio Suzuki Biography

Michio Suzuki was born in Shizuoka, Japan on February 10, 1887. The area where he was born was known as a cotton weaving village. He was born into a cotton farming family. Since the age of 8 he has started helping his parents on the farm. Working in the fields didn’t really make him happy.

He then looks for activities that require high skills. Finally, the founder of Suzuki worked as a carpenter. Before becoming a professional carpenter, he apprenticed for seven years with a professional carpenter named Kōtarō Imamura.

During this internship, he grew into a young man who was willing to work hard. His skills in designing things began when the Japan-Russia war broke out in 1904. At that time Japan lacked skilled workers.

Kōtarō Imamura and his student Michio Suzuki were ordered to do maintenance on the looms in the factory. But Kōtarō felt that the job was not very suitable for him. Finally he ordered Michio Suzuki to do it. Stay up-to-date with Deltsapure! Provide accurate and updated news for readers.

Inventing the Pedal Loom

Michio Suzuki then became interested in how the loom machine worked and provided innovations on how to develop the loom machine. After completing his apprenticeship in 1908, the founder of Suzuki then took control of the development of his family’s silkworm farm.

He then converted the silkworm farm into a loom production workshop. He then innovated the design of the weaving machine. His first innovation was a loom that used pedals. The tool he made is capable of weaving cloth ten times faster than a normal hand loom.

History of the Founding of Suzuki

News of Suzuki’s discovery of this new loom quickly spread in the village. He then started making mass looms of his creation. In October 1909 at the age of 22, Michio Suzuki founded the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company.

His business was going well, stock orders increased and Michio Suzuki developed his machines for the silk industry. Finally, many machines were developed by SLW experts and the business grew rapidly.

Eleven years later in 1920, Michio Suzuki decided to introduce his business to the stock exchange. The days of being a small, family-owned company were over, Michio Suzuki needed funds to be able to expand its business to meet demand from an increasingly growing market.

The Largest Weaving Company in Japan

The establishment of the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company (Suzuki Jidosha Kogyo) in March 1920 is considered the forerunner of the Suzuki Motor Company. Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company received the funds needed for investment and the company grew rapidly. In 1922 Suzuki Jidosha Kogyo had become the largest loom company in Japan.

At that time, Japan was not yet the largest industrial power we know today. The most important export commodities at that time were garments and clothing. In 1926 Suzuki began exporting its weaving tools to Southeast Asia and India. But in an instant the market needs were met, high quality looms from Suzuki that could last a long time caused demand for new looms to slowly dwindle.

Suzuki began to consider making other products besides producing weaving machines. It could be said that there were very few motorbike or car manufacturers in Japan before World War II. Soichiro Honda only made his motorbike in 1947. Meanwhile in Europe and America the motorbike and car industry has been running for several decades. The “Otto engine” was patented in Germany in 1876 and the prototype of Einspur’s first motorbike, Gottlieb Daimler’s, was built in 1885.

There is no need to question that Japan is not a pioneer in designing motorbikes. Japanese manufacturers entered this business decades after Europeans and in their early days they mostly imitated the designs and technical solutions of European machines. But we all know what happened after that era, several decades after World War 2, giant Japanese manufacturers dominated the world motorbike market.

Enter the Automotive Industry

Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company was an impressive company but the decreasing demand for their products made Suzuki consider entering the automotive business. Around 20,000 vehicles are imported by Japan each year, but this has not been able to satisfy market demand for cheap light-class vehicles. Michio Suzuki saw this market gap and took his first steps.

Making the First Suzuki Car Prototype

In 1938 Suzuki made its first car prototype based on the Austin Seven. Suzuki’s research team bought an Austin Seven from England, stripped it down and studied it. After several months they were able to make a replica of the British-made 737cc car.

At that time Japan had little knowledge of how to produce good cars and motorbikes and copying cars made by European manufacturers seemed to be the way to start. But the timing was very wrong.

At that time Japan was preparing for war. This project was abandoned and Suzuki’s version of the Austin Seven was never mass produced. However, this project is not an original idea, because Nissan’s first car was based on the Austin Seven.

After the end of the war, there followed a period of rebuilding and recovery in a highly unstable economy. The SLMC loom factory is trying to be refurbished. But the wave of attacks in the 1940s and the post-war financial structure in disarray in the early 1950s nearly destroyed the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company.

Michio Suzuki’s son Shunzo had the idea to put an engine on his bicycle when he came home from a fishing trip. Without a specific goal, he got stuck at the drawing table at home and started designing his own motorized bicycle. It is never known whether this story is true or not, but what is certain is that motorcycle manufacturing will save this company from ruin.

Designing the First Suzuki Motorcycle

In November 1951 engineers from the Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company began designing an engine that could be attached to a bicycle. This idea was not unique, at that time more than 100 other Japanese companies came up with the same idea. Soichiro Honda started his Honda Technical Research Institute in 1946 by repairing used small engines used by Japanese soldiers during the war and fitting them into bicycles.

One year later Honda began making its own motorcycle engines. At that time Suzuki handed over production of its first motorized bicycle to Honda. Before the Power Free 36cc engine was released, a 30cc prototype engine, named the “Atom” was built by Suzuki.

“The Atom” was never mass produced. The high quality of Suzuki motorbikes makes them stand strong and make a big splash in Japan. Many of the original ideas from Michio’s son, Shonzu Suzuki, reached the production stage.

The design system was considered so ingenious that the Patent Office of the new democratic government provided financial subsidies for Suzuki to continue its motorcycle engineering research. Unlike most of its competitors, “the Power Free” does not use engines from military surplus products, but is entirely made by Suzuki.

Suzuki manufacturers even make carburetors and flywheel magnets. The Power Free was launched at the end of 1951. Only a short time after the Power Free was launched the Japanese government changed its policy regarding permits to ride small capacity motorbikes. Suzuki immediately developed a new motorbike with an increase in engine capacity to 60cc.

He also added a two-speed gearbox to their motorbike products. After “The Power Free” was successful in the market, in 1953 Suzuki Jidosha Kogyo introduced “Diamond Free” which was a development of the Power Free. In that year Suzuki produced 6000 motorbikes per month and changed its name to “Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd” in June 1954.

It started with making brackets for the engine temples on Suzuki’s first bicycles. Finally in 1954, Suzuki tried to make its first motorbike with the name COLLEDA 90cc. Until the 1960s, there was not much Suzuki could do because there was little export demand.

In 1967, Suzuki launched the T500 which was exported to America and England under the name Titan for the USA and Cobra for the UK. The appearance of the T500 was considered quite successful and it continued to be developed into the GT500 which continued to be produced until 1977.

In 1971, Suzuki experienced failure in the world market by launching the GT750 or Water Buffalo model. In 1976 the GT750 was developed into the GS750. This GS750 model was quite successful and very quickly became popular.

In 1978, Suzuki achieved extraordinary success with the launch of the Suzuki GS 1000 model motorbike. This success was triggered because the Suzuki GS 1000 model had a frame that looked sturdier than other motorbikes at that time.

The results of the development of the GS 1000 were the GSX 1000 in 1980 and the GSX 1100 Katana in 1982. With models known for full power, modern styling, light body and low prices. very competitive. This Suzuki achieved great success.

In 1986, Suzuki made a breakthrough again with its flagship models GSX-R750 and GSX-R 1100 which were known as super fast motorbikes at that time because the models adopted racing motorbikes and were intended for highway use.

The Suzuki GSX-R750 model continues to be produced today because it has good sales. This is different with the Suzuki GSX-R 1100 model, production was stopped due to poor sales and causing losses. In the 1990s, the GSX-R 1100 was redesigned again but still lacked success.

Producing the Suzuki Hayabusa

Suzuki made another breakthrough in 1999 by producing the GSX-1300R, which we know as the HAYABUSA, which also became the fastest street bike in the world because it reached a speed of 310km/hour.

After seeing the successful development of the Suzuki company he founded, in 1982 at the age of 94 Michio Suzuki finally breathed his last breath. He succeeded in bringing Suzuki to become a famous and large automotive company in the world. Suzuki produces many products that are liked by the public. These are all his creations based on his keenness in listening to consumers. Not for style, but efficiency.

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