Amidst the rumors of a possible Porsche-VW merger, Volkswagen is reportedly interested in striking up a partnership with Japanese automaker Suzuki.
While Suzuki may be a smaller brand in the U.S., the Japanese company dominates the microcar market in Japan, along with Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu. A source reportedly familiar with the matter tells Automotive News that such a partnership could give Volkswagen more experience with small cars.
“You have to see it through an Asian perspective, particularly a Japanese one. There are vehicle sizes and classes that cannot be found [in Europe],” the source said.
“You only see them at the Tokyo motor show, but it is undoubtedly an interesting segment. Just have a quick look at the developing markets like India. It’s correct that there is a gap there that could be closed.”
Suzuki has not only had success in Japan with its extremely small cars, but also in India, where its Maruti division is the country’s biggest automaker. Its best selling car there is the Alto, which shares a platform with Nissan’s Pixo.
Volkswagen’s chairman, Ferdinand Piech, signaled an interest in Suzuki after he praised the company when asked what other brands could be added to his auto conglomerate.
If a deal is brokered, VW is expected to secure a relationship by taking an initial 10 percent stake in the Japanese company.
Source: Automotive News