Freshly wedded Suzuki and Volkswagen are not losing any time in consummating the marriage. Joint work will start immediately, or rather on January 10, 2010 said Suzuki Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki to Reuters. With that date, Suzuki-San is already bowing to Wolfsburg’s ingrained culture. As of this coming Friday evening, everybody who is somebody at VW will be off skiing in Zermatt or soaking in the surf of the Maledives, not to return before January 10th. No linkup with Suzuki will change that.
At the sidelines of the launch of the Alto minicar in Tokyo, Suzuki said to reporters: “We generally understand what we want from each other. Actual, detailed execution — with our people going there and their people coming here — will be after January.” If you are planning any trips between Tokyo and Frankfurt for early 2010, book now. JAL and Lufthansa will be sold out.
And what’s so urgent to get going? Suzuki said the new partners have agreed they want to develop a competitive, small car, seen as key to taking the lead in developing countries. Pressed for more, Suzuki remained silent.
“Working together in the ultra-small segment will probably reap the biggest benefit for both companies,” said Fumikazu Kitagawa, managing director at Nomura Research Institute.”With small cars, you can’t go in half-heartedly. But hardly anyone dares because it’s so difficult to make money.”