Way back in 1909, a young man named Michio Suzuki founded the Suzuki Loom Works in Hamamatsu, Japan. Fresh off a grueling, seven-year apprenticeship under a master carpenter named Kōtarō Imamura, 22-year-old Suzuki had learned how to maintain and repair industrial looms during the Russo-Japanese war. The combination of mechanical know-how, a deep understanding of the inner workings of industrial looms, and the recent inheritance of his family's silkworm farm made him a natural fit as a loom manufacturer.
Suzuki built looms for the next three decades, constantly pushing the envelope of manufacturing technology to improve the efficiency of the big, complex machines. By the mid-1930s, Suzuki decided to diversify the company's products and began tinkering with car designs. The first Suzuki car prototype was developed in the late-30s, just in time for World War II to put the kibosh on civilian automobile manufacturing.
After the war, Suzuki resumed his pre-war, auto-related work. In 1952, Suzuki released its first motor vehicle—a motorized bicycle with a 36cc, two-stroke engine. The rest, as they say, is history.