Deep Dive: Volkswagen to increase stake in Suzuki

Volkswagen to increase stake in Suzuki

According to the Wolfsburg grapevine, the Volkswagen Group is set to increase its 19.9 percent share in Suzuki by ten percent annually over the next four to five years. What for? We've already learned that VW might be interested in building a low-cost, Japanese version of the Up! but now it seems that the Germans are also eyeing Suzuki's crossovers, particularly the next generation of the SX4.

The next SX4 could serve as the basis for the future Volkswagens (CrossPolo), Audis (Q1), Seats (Tribu), and Skodas (Yeti II). Trouble is, the future SX4 is reportedly not exactly beautiful, so mere badge engineering is out of the question. But will VW spend the money to develop a brand-new body for four brands? Although the verdict is still out, the rumor mill is optimistic.

Suzuki's other crossover, the Grand Vitara is attractive to VW from a marketing standpoint -- it could slot in next to the Tiguan -- but is probably too low-tech to match the needs of all the group's brands. Instead, it's possible that the next Grand Vitara will get an infusion of Volkswagen DNA, sharing components with a planned Passat-based crossover.

Further down the road, it's also possible that Suzuki could contribute on an alternative to "MQB" platform, the flexible but rather expensive architecture that will underpin everything from the next Audi A3 to the next VW Passat.

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