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Click for more info on the Suzuki Alto
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Grand Vitara
Click for more info on the Suzuki Ignis
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Wagon R
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Big powerful bikes, small weedy cars

Neat mini jeeps though.

Suzuki, like so many other Japanese car firms, started off by producing a range of motorcycles. Suzuki built its first cars in the 1960's and began importing them to Britain in the early 1980's. Its first British model, the SC100, sold in tiny numbers however Suzuki sales really took-off when it started importing its dinky-sized 4x4 Jeep models.

The company started out as Suzuki Loom Works in 1909. In 1952 it created the motorized bicycle (called Power Free) which featured a 2x36 cc engine. This bike was popular, so in 1954 it introduced a second bicycle.

In 1954 the company's name changed into Suzuki Motor Corporation. In 1955 Suzuki introduced its first mass-produced car, the Suzulight.

During the 1970s, the models Fonte (in different variations such as the 360 or the Viola) and Jimny (small cross-country) were produced.

In 1985, Suzuki made an agreement with General Motors to meet the increasing demand for small cars. With the help of Isuzu (GM had a large stake in them at that time) the Chevrolet Sprint (Suzuki Cultus in Japan) was introduced in the United States.

Also in 1985 the Samurai (a small off-roader; Jimny in Japan and SJ410/SJ413 elsewhere) was the first car in the United States released under the Suzuki brand, as a 1986 model. It was successful until Consumer Reports got it to roll over in a 1988 test.

1989 was a big model year. Suzuki both redesigned its Swift and began selling it in-house for the first time, and a new small SUV called Sidekick was introduced, bringing Suzuki's model count to three. With 1989 also being the birthyear of GM's Geo brand, both Suzukis came to lead a double-life as the Geo Metro and Geo Tracker.

In 1995 Suzuki brought the Esteem sedan to America, which was barely any bigger or more powerful than the Swift and always sold modestly. Total production of Suzuki reached more than 975,000 cars this year.

In 1996, Suzuki unleashed an extremely odd and underpowered microscopic convertible SUV, the X-90 to replace the Samurai. It lasted three model years and died after 1998. That was also the Sidekick's last year, which got replaced by the Vitara and Grand Vitara for 1999. Note: Geo died in 1997, after which the Metro and Tracker got rebadged as Chevrolets.

After 2001, the Swift/Metro (by then the most underpowered car in America) was gone. The Esteem also left us, to be replaced with the Aerio for 2002. Suzuki was now down from two SUVs to one, and two cars to one.

In 2004, General Motors rebadged two Daewoo sedans with the Suzuki name: the compact Forenza (Daewoo Nubira/Daewoo Lacetti) and mid-size Verona (Daewoo Magnus, formerly Daewoo Leganza). The Forenza gained wagon and hatchback body styles for 2005, with the hatchback sold under the Reno name. Suzuki plans an all-new SUV to take the Grand Vitara/XL-7's place for 2006.

Beginning with the Chevrolet Sprint, Suzuki has built cars for other manufacturers. In Europe, the main rebadged Suzuki is the Subaru Justy and G3X Justy, which has been a version of its Swift and, more recently, its Ignis. Most of Mazda's (and Autozam's) smallest vehicles are made by Suzuki, as is the Nissan Moco. Suzuki's Samurai/Sierra was also known as the Holden Drover between 1985 and 1987. The Chevrolet Cruze and Holden Cruze are also on Suzuki platforms—again the Ignis's but with a Holden-designed body. The Geo and Chevrolet Tracker were Suzuki Vitaras by another name.

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