About the Company
Since 1959, Suzuki came into the Philippine motoring scene through the able management of Rufino D. Antonio and Associates Inc wherein they handled nationwide distribution of Suzuki motorcycles.
In July 10, 1975, a joint venture between Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan) and Rufino D. Antonio and Associates, Inc was formed under the name of Antonio Suzuki Corporation and this helped in the expansion of motorcycle sales in the country.
Due to the economic crunch experienced right after the assassination of Senator Benigno Aquino in 1984, Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd ( Japan) took over the operations from Antonio Suzuki Corporation. With this, in February 1985, Suzuki Philippines, Inc. (SPH), a wholly owned company of Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan), was formally introduced to the Philippine market. (In 1990, Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. was changed to Suzuki Motor Corporation).
Since then, Suzuki Philippines Inc. has been at the forefront of introducing motorcycle models which enjoyed market acceptability. The steady shift of the motorcycle market from mostly tricycle models to solo-ride models like privately or company owned mopeds. scooter, and trail bikes has prompted Suzuki to continuously come out with new models to cater to this market.
In 1990, SPH was the first motorcycle Company to export motorcycle outside of the country, shipping 114 units to Suzuki S.A. in Guatemala.
Since the start of the company, Suzuki Philippines Inc. , the following models were introduced to the Philippine motorcycle market.
· Suzuki X120 (B120)
· Suzuki X-3 (GP100)
· Suzuki X-4 (GP125)
· Suzuki TS100 ERD
· Suzuki TS125 ERD
At the peak of its motorcycle exportations in 1993, SPH shipped out 845 units to various customers such as Guatemala and others.
In 1994, SPH launched the Suzuki Crystal (RC110), the first 2-stroke underbone motorcycle from Suzuki made available in the Philippine market. This model set the new standards for speed, fashionable and effortless motorcycle riding.
In 1996, the off-road market welcomed the arrival of the Suzuki TSR125 with motocross spec. linkage suspension and high capacity camel-back fuel tank.
1997 was the year when Suzuki ventured into the growing scooter market with its introduction of the Suzuki SS100 Frontier Scooter, which was imported from Taiwan.
In 1998, Suzuki came out with another 2-stroke underbone model in the Suzuki Swing (SC110)
In October 1999, SPH also marked another milestone event in its history when it took over the automobile operations of Suzuki in the country from Pilipinas Transport Industries, Inc. (PTII). The expansion greatly strengthened the company image and capability in carrying its four-wheel division.
In July 2000, Suzuki Automobile launched its flagship model – the Grand Vitara – with its all-new 2.5 liter v6 engine, building on the rich heritage of the Vitara model in the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) market. Automobile enthusiasts can only look forward to upcoming new models, which will be launched locally after successful introduction of these models in the international market.
2001 was the year the Suzuki Crystal was replaced with the new 4-stroke underbone model Suzuki Shogun 110cc which emerged as the most powerful and yet economical model in its class with its sophisticated twin dome combustion engine design and its highly efficient internal cooling system that prevents excessive engine over-heating.
In 2002, Suzuki introduced the Raider 125 – the motorcycle that will pave the way for Suzuki to lead the sporty underbone category in the Philippine market. In the same year, Suzuki launched a fashionable, powerful yet economical underbone motorcycle – the Smash 110. In the middle of the year, Suzuki introduced the Jimny 4×4. Powered by a 1.3L 16-valve engine, it was well accepted by the market as a very affordable SUV with the price of a car.
In 2003, SPH strengthened its claim in the 125cc category when it launched the Shogun R 125 with an increased 125cc engine for maximum power on the road.
In the same year, SPH introduced its 4-stroke backbone model for the business category – the Suzuki Mola 125 (GS125). Also in the same year, the Grand Vitara’s big brother, the XL-7, was launched in the fourth quarter of 2003. It was powered by a class-leading 2.7L V6 24-valve engine with 5-speed automatic transmission.
2004 was the year the Philippine market saw many innovations from SPH. Suzuki made further developments on its underbone family model with the Shogun R+’s awesome display of sleek sporty styling and coloring design. And in the same year, harnessing the power of the 125cc engine, Suzuki launched the Shogun Pro with the pro-clutch manual transmission.
In this year also, the flagship model of the Suzuki motorcycles came into being – the Raider R150 – which is hailed as the king of motorcycles attributing to its GSX-R inspired sporty design.
2004 was also the year when SPH increased the power of the GS125 which developed into the GS150 or more popularly known as the Mola 150.
Also in that year. Suzuki spearheaded the first Suzuki Nationwide Endurance Run. Its aim was to dispel the negative notion that motorcycle riding is unsafe and that motorcycle riders have lesser traffic rights. It was also a way of showcasing Suzuki’s widest range of motorcycle models from backbone to business models to scooters and sporty underbone models. Since then, the Suzuki Nationwide Endurance Run had become an annual nationwide two-wheel tour forwarding motorcycling as an alternative lifestyle, while demonstrating the durability, overall excellent performance and fuel efficiency of Suzuki motorcycles.
May 2005 was the launch of the Suzuki APV, offering the best value-for-money van in the local market. Powered by a 1.6L, 16-valve engine and with a seating capacity of 8 passengers, the APV had a price tag similar to a passenger car, making it a popular choice for big families.
A few months later, in August 2005, Suzuki launched the much anticipated Swift 1.5L hatchback and new Grand Vitara 2.0L. Both models were well accepted and unit allocations to dealers were sold out even before stocks could arrive.
In 2006, SPH introduced new and fashionable decals for the Shogun Pro and Shogun R+. This was also the year when the Raider Jr. or more popularly known as the Raider J came into the scene. The Raider J is a 4-stroke sports motorcycle engineered for the Philippine roads and the Filipino rider. Also in 2006, the new Suzuki Smash Revo 110 was introduced to the market. Likewise, the Grand Vitara 2.7L V6 with 5-speed automatic transmission was brought in to cater to the luxury market. It was the first in its class to have a keyless entry and start system, 6 airbags, leather interior, cruise control and 17” alloy wheels.
The scooter market began to expand and SPH came out with its weapon in this category in 2006 – the Suzuki Step 125.
The following year (2007) , another model in the scooter category was made known and this was the Hayate 125. Unlike its competitors, both the Hayate and the Step are fully equipped with an automatic transmission and a powerful 125cc engine.
In that same year in April, Suzuki introduced the answer to the constant increase in fuel prices worldwide – the Suzuki Alto. Right from the start, it was a well accepted car with its very pocket friendly price and fuel efficient engine. First time car owners were the main market for this vehicle.
With its commitment in bringing mobility to life, Suzuki Philippines has been promoting safety riding since early 90’s. And in 2008, Suzuki formed its Safety Riding Team conducting nationwide public safety seminars, actual training and demonstration rides to educate riders and pedestrians alike to correct the misimpression about motorcycles and improve the riding community’s knowledge about road safety.
2008 was the year when the evolution of Shogun saga continued as SPH unveiled its all-new Shogun Pro and Shogun R as it reinforces Suzuki’s presence in the highly competitive 125cc market. These models are positioned as High-Class Underbone motorcycles offering both Highly Refined Craftsmanship with Superior yet Fuel Efficient Engine Performance at very competitive prices. Likewise, also in 2008, the Step 125 stepped into higher level as it was enhanced with new decals & color as well as the inclusion of a DC charger and its was aptly called the Step Hi-Class 125
After three successful years of selling the 1st generation APV, Suzuki introduced in February 2008 the enhanced version, the Suzuki APV Type II. It now had a new coil spring rear suspension, bigger fuel tank, improved electronic control unit and choice of 8-seater GLX or luxury 7-seater SGX versions. SGX models were fitted with safety features such as dual airbags and ABS.
In May 2008, Suzuki launched the new Suzuki SX4 Sedan. Powered by a 1.6 liter engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission, the SX4 Sedan is Suzuki’s very first entry in the local sedan market.
Coinciding with the Philippine International Motorshow held at the World Trade Center in August 2008 was Suzuki’s launch of the Swift with manual transmission and Grand Vitara 2.4L 4×2 A/T with VVT. Since the Swift’s introduction in 2005, the local market was clamoring for a manual transmission variant to boost the Swift’s sporty image. For the Grand Vitara, the 2.4L VVT variant replaced the 2.0L version as the market wanted a more powerful and fuel efficient model.
And in 2009, Suzuki Philippines again wowed the Philippine market with the unleashing of the new Raider Breed – the new Raider R150 with its new sportier bodyworks it gives the rider one step closer to riding a true Suzuki GSX-R; the all-new Raider J Pro with the evolutionary pro clutch feature for optimum riding performance.
SPH has plans of expanding its localization program in line with the government’s program to establish backward linkages with allied companies in the industry. Each tricycle model that Suzuki manufactures contains as much as 45% local components, although the engine is still 100% from Japan.
Faced with the challenge of globalization and free trade that will allow importation of low-cost motorcycles, Suzuki is geared to formulate its new blue print for growth. Strategy is focused on increasing both the solo-ride market and the tricycle segment. With current local population of more than 80 million and as the country continues to industrialize, mobility becomes an acute necessity, and here is where the motorcycle comes to the rescue as a safe, economical, convenient and yet fashionable means of transportation. Indeed, Suzuki Philippines, Incorporated shall persist to do its share in accelerating the progress and industrialization of the country by introducing more dynamic products for both motorcycles and automobiles as well as programs for the Filipino motoring public harnessing the power of Suzuki’s Way of Life.