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Suzuki’s rocky relationship with Volkswagen has not ended, the Japanese automaker stated today. Even though Suzuki has made public remarks against VW’s role in the two automakers’ joint-venture, there are no plans for the Japanese automaker to pull out.
Recently, a newspaper in Germany reported that the tenuous relationship was set to end, but a Suzuki spokesperson stated the opposite. Chairman Osamu Suzuki said last month that“Volkswagen has no technology that Suzuki wants right now,”. The German and Japanese automakers signed a joint-venture in 2009, but not much progress has been made. The plan to build small Suzuki cars equipped with VW technology have not come to fruition, and both companies have also indicated unhappiness with the relationship.
[Source: Left Lane News]
A rumored deal between Volkswagen and Suzuki has been revived after the VW CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn told a German magazine that Suzuki would make an “interesting partner.”
“Suzuki would be an interesting partner because of its competency in small cars,” Winterkorn said in an interview with German publication Manager Magazin.
It is believed that Volkswagen is looking for a company like Suzuki to gain expertise in launching a mini-car in emerging markets. The partnership between the two automakers would see the development of a mini car to slot in under the upcoming small cars that will be based on the Volkswagen Up! concept. Currently, Suzuki’s Alto (pictured above) is the number one selling car in India.
In June, Reuters reported that Volkswagen was interested in gaining a 10 percent stake in Suzuki but the Japanese company’s Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki denied any contact between the two companies.
CEO quashes rumors that Japanese automaker would sell off 10 percent stake to VW
After news reports late last week that Suzuki was in talks with Volkswagen, the Japanese automaker’s CEO has officially denied the story.
“So far there’s been absolutely no contact (with Volkswagen),” said Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki to the Chunichi Shimbun daily. “Lately, we’ve been the victim of a lot of rumors (of equity tie-ups and cooperation deals).”
Reuters cited an unnamed source claiming that VW was in talks with Suzuki to take a 10 percent stake in the automaker and engage in a partnership to build mini cars for emerging markets. The new vehicle was reported to be even smaller than the Volkswagen Up! concept, which is slated to go on sale in 2011.
Suzuki recently made the decision to stop production on its low volume XL7 SUV. The vehicle is currently the only Suzuki manufactured in North America.
Suzuki built the three-row, seven-passenger crossover at General Motors’ CAMI facility in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. The facility will continue to produce GM products on its other lines.
Suzuki continues to have a stake in the CAMI joint-venture and CEO Osamu Suzuki isn’t worried that it might be shut down. “The possibility that CAMI would be forced into closure or a production stop is 120 percent impossible,” he told Automotive News. “It is a central pillar in the reconstruction plan, so I am not worried about it.”
It is unclear if Suzuki has plans to re-start production on its flagship XL7 SUV once the economy rebounds or if Suzuki’s interests in the CAMI facility include a new vehicle. Suzuki has announced that it will debut a new mid-sized sedan by the end of this year.
[Source: AutomotiveNews via Autoblog]