Trouble has been brewing among the two companies, with reports claiming cultural differences were to blame. But the problems became apparent last month when Suzuki Executive Vice-President Yasuhito Harayama stood by the company’s independence and said the two groups needed to go back to the drawing board on their partnership. VW then fired back and said it wouldn’t impose on Suzuki’s autonomy.
This raised a red flag, but according to Reuters, a Suzuki spokesman said the company does not plan on ending the partnership. A Volkswagen spokesman however, said the company would not comment, and referred to statements it made last month saying the pact was under review.
The two companies joined forces in 2009 when VW took a 20-percent stake in Suzuki. The partnership would help VW move forward in Asia’s compact car segment with Suzuki’s small-car expertise while VW would help Suzuki gain ground on diesel engines and hybrid and electric vehicles.
While the alliance has been working out for the German automaker, the same can’t be said for Suzuki. An anonymous VW executive said a lack of transparency has led to a slow start for Suzuki, as the Japanese end hasn’t acquired as much technology as it wanted.