Michio Suzuki founded his first company in 1909. He started developing a car in 1937 but the project didn’t take off because of the World Wars. After the wars, the need of the public was for something like a motorcycle. Just like Honda, Suzuki made a motorised bicycle called the ‘Power Free’ in 1952, which was its first motorised two wheeler. It was quite like the Luna we used to have – you could pedal and power it, or use both the engine and pedals, or just the motor to propel it. Suzuki entered motorcycle racing in the 1960s and has had considerable success at it, and even today is a strong contender in endurance racing. As far as scooter manufacturing is concerned, Suzuki can claim to manufacture the biggest displacement true scooter in the world – the Burgman 650, a twin-cylinder luxury scooter that displaces 650cc.
Suzuki has been manufacturing two wheelers in India since 1982, in collaboration with TVS. It split in 2001 to become a wholly owned subsidiary of its parent company. Its most well-known model is the Hayabusa. It began its scooter manufacturing in India with the Access, a 125cc scooter that aimed for the Activa with value through a larger displacement engine. Although sales were sluggish initially, it soon became a hit with the public. A more female-oriented design was then debuted in the Swish 125, and the grammatically horrendous Let’s, a 110cc scooter, was launched. The Swish and Let’s never really managed to scale the heights that the Access did. At the time of writing, an all-new, much-improved second-generation Access is on sale and it is also selling well thanks to an injection of style, features and performance.