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Nissan is denying reports that Suzuki‘s tie-up with Volkswagen will affect their small car ventures in countries like India. Nissan sells a rebadged version of the Suzuki Alto (one of India’s most popular cars) in that market, but a senior Nissan exec was quoted as saying that ““Suzuki and Nissan have done a lot of business for many years. As far as we are concerned, nothing changes.”
VW took a 20 percent stake in Suzuki last year, and was allegedly attracted to Suzuki’s small car and motorcycle expertise. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn told Autocar that “We have set up a joint project office in Wolfsburg to coordinate cooperation,” he said. “Work on concrete ideas and vehicle projects will begin in the coming weeks.”
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.