Suzuki Auto SA now a one-stop shop

Michio Suzuki started making looms for the giant Japanese silk-weaving industry in 1909, in the small seaside village of Hamamatsu.

By 1952 his company was making two-stroke clip-engines for bicycles and it released its first car, the front wheel-drive Suzulight, in 1955.

Suzuki SX4 compact crossover. Credit: Marc Bow

But Suzuki products reached South Africa piecemeal - Sam Aber of Springs began importing Suzuki motorcycles in the early 1960s, General Motors brought in the first batch of SJ 410 mini-off-roaders in the very early 1990s, while Suzuki outboard engines and generators were introduced at about the same time by Suzuki South Africa, the then Suzuki motorcycle distributors.

So when Suzuki Auto South Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation, was formed in 2008, the brand had become more than a little fragmented.


It has taken many years but, as of 1 April 2014, all Suzuki's brand interests in South Africa have been combined into a new, 'one stop shop' under the Suzuki Auto banner.

Managing director Yukio Sato said: “It's been a long process, but now we are able to represent all of the Suzuki brands in South Africa with a more cohesive, coherent and unified structure.

“Suzuki offers a wide product range - from our latest SX4 crossover and the high-performance GSX-R sports bikes to quads, generators and high-tech outboard engines.

“Bringing them all together under a single umbrella will enable us to improve the image and presence of the brand as a whole.”

He said there would be no immediate effect on Suzuki's dealer networks, but that customers could expect a more integrated retail approach to the whole product range in the longer term, which should benefit overall availability.