The brand Suzuki can be traced directly to its founder, Michio Suzuki. This entrepreneur owned a small textile company in the early part of the 20th century and it was not until 1937 that his company began to take a foray into the automotive industry. The first vehicle that was created was a four-cylinder prototype for a car that would never gain much popularity, as the onset of the Second World War was but a few years away. Like Toyota and other manufacturers, Suzuki was converted into producing wartime supplies for Japan until the war ended in 1945.
Upon cessation of the war and after a protracted recession in 1951, Suzuki instead turned to producing low-cost motorcycles. As these models proved quite popular, the Japanese government granted the still-fledgling company funds to continue their research. This allowed Suzuki to return into the automotive industry and in 1955, they began to mass produce many vehicles for the Japanese population.
Still, growth was slow until Suzuki entered into a contract with General Motors in 1981. This allowed the company to enjoy a massive rate of expansion into the American (and subsequently the European) marketplace. Such growth has continued well into the 21st century. Suzuki is now rated as the twelfth-largest car manufacturer on the planet and it currently boasts over thirty-five factories in production that are found in no less than one hundred and ninety-two countries. This powerhouse is expected to enjoy such popularity into the foreseeable future thanks to a renewed focus on low-emission vehicles and cost-effective options for the consumer.