Suzuki Motor Corporation (スズキ株式会社 Suzuki Kabushiki-Kaisha ) is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan that specializes in manufacturing compact automobiles and 4x4 vehicles, a full range of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a variety of other small internal combustion engines. Suzuki is Japan's 4th largest automobile manufacturer after Toyota, Nissan and Honda, the 9th largest automobile manufacturer in the world by production volume, employs over 45,000, has 35 main production facilities in 23 countries and 133 distributors in 192 countries. According to statistics from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), Suzuki is Japan's second-largest manufacturer of small cars and trucks.
Suzuki started manufacturing motorcycles in 1952, the first models being motorized bicycles. During the 1950s, 1960s and the better part of the 1970s, the company manufactured motorcycles with two-stroke engines only, the biggest two-stroke model being the water-cooled triple-cylinder GT750.
A large factor in Suzuki's success in two-stroke competition was the East German Grand Prix racer Ernst Degner, who defected to the West in 1961, bringing with him expertise in two-stroke engines from the East German manufacturer MZ. Suzuki hired Degner, and he won the 50 cc class F.I.M. road racing World Championship for them in the 1962 season. Suzuki became the first Japanese manufacturer to win a motocross world championship when Joel Robert won the 1970 250 cc title. In the 1970s, Suzuki established themselves in the motorcycle racing world with Barry Sheene and Roger De Coster winning world championships in the premier 500 cc division in road racing and motocross respectively. Suzuki continues to compete in MotoGP and last won the title in the 2000 season. Since 2006, the team is sponsored by Rizla and is known as Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team. On 18 November 2011, Suzuki announced that the GP racing was suspended, partly due to natural disasters and recession, until 2014.