Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Signs Volkswagen-Suzuki global alliance in trouble

A verbal battle has broken out between top officials of Suzuki Motor Corporation and Volkswagen AG, hinting the alliance between the global carmakers is in trouble.

In any case, technology sharing between the two hasn’t happened 18 months since the alliance was announced.

Fractures surfaced when the German carmaker accused its Japanese partner of non-cooperation in an interview with a German magazine.

Now, Osamu Suzuki, the helmsman of the Japanese car major, said in a blog post that none of Volkswagen’s technologies are interesting enough to be adopted and that for the time being, Suzuki is in no hurry to collaborate in critical markets such as India.

“Does Suzuki face an immediate difficulty? The answer is ‘Not at all.’ We learnt about Volkswagen’s technologies, but we did not find any one of them interesting enough to adopt immediately … We are producing more than 200,000 units of our diesel engine, which is attracting a lot of attention in India. Thus, for the time being, particularly in critical markets like the minicar market and India, we are not in a hurry to collaborate with Volkswagen,” Suzuki said last week.

Automobile industry experts agree nothing much has worked out for the two companies in India. There was a proposal for rebadging of some Maruti Suzuki cars (specifically the A-Star, which is already selling in Europe as Nissan Pixo and the WagonR) till the beginning of this year, but this also is no longer on the cards.

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