Suzuki has made good on its repeated threats to sue Volkswagen. The Japanese carmaker initiated arbitration procedures. This according to Reuters, The Nikkei [sub], and sundry other media that has been covering the domestic dispute between the couple. Suzuki originally had given Volkswagen some time to consider and was planning for a repurchase of the 19.9 percent Suzuki shares held by Volkswagen. After Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn denied the offer out of hand, and implicitly said that he was waiting for Osamu Suzuki to be replaced by younger blood, Suzuki said “mo takusan desu” (enough is enough) and filed papers with the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration in London. Don’t expect a quick end of the drama.
Yasuhito Harayama, Suzuki’s executive vice president, and widely suspected as the driving force behind the divorce proceedings, had said last Friday that it might take up to two years to settle the dispute.
Volkswagen told The Nikkei [sub] that “it can’t follow the logic behind Suzuki Motor Corp.’s move to commence arbitration proceedings aimed at compelling Volkswagen to dispose of its shares in Suzuki.” Volkswagen probably used “nicht nachvollziehbar” (incomprehensible), which is a politically correct way of saying that the other side lost its marbles.