By on June 25, 2009

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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18 Comments on “VW and Suzuki?...”


  • avatar
    FloorIt

    So the 2 car co’s that are at the bottom of the reliability and trade in value charts may join together. At least they have nowhere to go but up.

  • avatar
    Jason

    VW is at or near the bottom in residual value?

  • avatar
    FishTank

    Now THAT’s the Swift I’ve been pining for the last few years. Over here in Canada/US we got the crappy GM/Suzuki derivative. If they had only sold that car here they might have made more gains. Did GM infuence Suzuki’s decision? Anyone know? I like the SX4, but LOVE that version of the Swift.

    More beauty shots here…
    http://www.autoblog.com/photos/suzuki-swift/

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Fishtank: +1 on the Swift. And Suzuki said (in 2007) that it is headed stateside by 2010. Based on everything I’ve read (and from seeing them all over the place in China) I hope this is true. Seems to be a great car.

    A Suzuki tie-up could be a great strategic move for VW. Becoming a major player in India and China seems like a smart goal.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Ummm, they’d get a plant(s) and dealership organization in India.

    And China being near… and both with huge grow potential…

    There’s some SERIOUS MONEY to be made there.

    Suzuki cars (sold under Chevrolet brand) have a reputation for being durable here.

    Very interesting…

    Bertel, how’s the soup opera between Piëch and Wiedeking going… we need updates, or the popcorn will get cold.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I saw a shedload of interesting Suzukis when I was in Bermuda, frequently parked next to VW Polos. Very interesting cars, and suddenly, very appropriate in the U.S.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    Maybe VW can do make something of a relationship with Suzuki, unlike GM. They’ve got their own products that are, as I understand it, pretty good. Their rep here in N.A. was destroyed by the garbage GMDAT cars that were being passed off as Suzukis.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    Maybe this will convince me to get a RWD, IRS, manual transmission Grand Vitara for ~$18K new, the threat of leaving the US was making me hesitant.

  • avatar
    bevo

    I loved my Sidekick, which I owned for 9 years. No major repairs beyond regular maintenance. I wish they would bring back the 4 door Sidekick.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I’m in for a diesel hayabusa. Who is with me?

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    A woman parks her SX4 5 door in my commuter lot every day. Cool looking car, in an ugly sort of way. But when she drives away, there’s a trail of blue smoke. Not good.

  • avatar
    Joe Chiaramonte

    I saw dozens of these Swifts last December in Barbados, and I think I’m in love. Seriously.

    I was picking up a part for my Miata today, and I was tempted to stop at the Suzuki store down the street from the Mazda dealer and beg.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    re: bevo:

    They still make the 4 door Sidekick, but now it’s called the Grand Vitara. It is Suzuki’s own product, not to be mistaken for the completely different FWD XL7, which is basically a rebadged Chevy Equinox.

    The Grand Vitara still comes standard with RWD, an I4 and a 5 speed manual, like the Sidekick, but now it has ABS, side airbags, power windows and power locks standard. And a much nicer interior.

    http://www.suzukiauto.com/grand_vitara/

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Hmmm, Suzuki and Fiat are already in bed together on a number of products and projects. Maybe VW is trying to lure Suzuki away with a better offer.

    VW has to be at least a little concerned about Fiat’s agressive plays.

  • avatar
    dancote

    In what alternate universe is Suzuki at the bottom of reliability charts?

    “FloorIt :
    June 25th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    So the 2 car co’s that are at the bottom of the reliability and trade in value charts may join together”

  • avatar
    chuckR

    “We are still in the sniff phase”

    What inelegant phrasing.

    Woof, woof.

    Maybe it sounds better in German.

  • avatar
    charly

    Since when is VW at the bottom* when traded in?

    * excluding North America

  • avatar
    kaleun

    If Suzuki still builts cars like the 95 Swift sold in Germany…. no corrosion protection, terribly faulty and not trade in value at all… then they should merge with Chrysler/Fiat to have a merger of equals (this time for real).

    no matter how bad VW is, at least they don’t corrode, and at least in Europe have a good reputation. Suzuki gave the entire Asian industry a bad reputation. not convinced they improved….


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