While Porsche has problems consummating the Volkswagen takeover, Volkswagen covets a smaller, but possibly juicy target: Suzuki. The German Manager Magazine has it on good authority that VW wants to get cozy with the Japanese maker of small cars. Buying, say, 10 percent of Suzuki would not be out of the question. Ulrich Hackenberg, head of VW’s R&D, had been in Hamamatsu, Japan. He came back impressed. “We are still in the sniff phase,” said a VW exec to Manager Magazine, no serious negotiations are being held—yet. Ferdinand Piech had praised Suzuki in May. Not that VW needs help building small cars. But they could need help where Suzuki is the market leader: In India, next to China the most promising growth market on the planet. Suzuki had a partnership with GM, but last year, all GM shares in Suzuki were turned into cash, so the coast is clear.
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