SUZUKI Philippines has been a long-time player in the country’s motoring industry. Suzuki motorcycles were made available in the country in 1959 when Rufino D. Antonio and Associates Inc., handled its nationwide distribution.
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 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.
Since then, Suzuki Philippines Inc. has been at the forefront of introducing motorcycle models, which enjoyed high 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 1999, SPH marked another milestone 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 its capability to manage and make its four-wheel division an outstanding performer.
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.
Two years later, 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.
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.
May 2005 saw the introduction 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.
The following year, 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.
In April of 2007, 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.
After three successful years of selling the 1st generation APV, Suzuki introduced in February 2008 the enhanced version, the Suzuki APV Type II.
At present, SPH has a wide selection of models in their automobile lineup, which includes the Alto, Celerio, Swift 1.2, Swift Dzire, Jimny, Swift 1.4, Ertiga, APV, Z+Kizashi and Grand Vitara.
Aside from their aggressive plans in growing the brand in the Philippine market, SPH is also busy in their Corporate Social Responsibility projects.
During the recent tragedy that struck the province of Leyte where thousands of people perished due to the devastation brought about by super-typhoon Yolanda, SPH provided aid to the victims with a P1 million donation, in cash and relief goods, which were was coursed through the ABS-CBN Foundation. On the other hand, Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan donated a total of Five Million Yen to the typhoon-ravaged areas through the Japan Red Cross Society.
SPH likewise, collaborated with ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. – Sagip Kapamilya in delivering relief efforts to the affected areas in the Visayas Region by providing two trucks to assist in the transportation of relief goods.
Recently, SPH supported a tree planting activity of one of its accredited car clubs, Team Celerio Philippines. SPH and Team Celerio chose a 1 sq. km area along the Marikina riverbank to hold its annual tree planting activity.
Held last August 29, this year’s tree planting was dubbed “Pagtanim ng Puno, Alay Natin sa Tao at sa Mundo” and was participated in by TCP members who also brought along their family members.
Marikina River, which serves as a catch basin for rainwater coming from the mountains of Rizal province, has become one of the top names on the watch list of bodies of water in danger of overflowing during the rainy season. It will greatly benefit from additional trees, and thus was one of the sites recommended by the Marikina PDO to Team Celerio Philippines.
In 2012 and 2013, TCP held their tree planting in Pampanga, and in 2014 had a mangrove tree planting in Subic, Zambales.
“We at SPH recognize the exemplary initiative of Team Celerio PH. We share their belief that the preservation of Mother Nature is the social responsibility of every individual, and laud this exemplary Suzuki member club as a model organization that all should look up to.” SPH president Hiroshi Suzuki said.