Volkswagen And Suzuki Beginning To Breed
Volkswagen and its freshly hitched 20 percent bride Suzuki will have a sit-down next week to “flesh out their joint projects by welding together a number of ideas,” reports The Nikkei [sub] from an earnings briefing in Wolfsburg.
The Nikkei guesses that Volkswagen will provide hybrid and electric-vehicle technologies to Suzuki. In turn they are interested in know-how on manufacturing subcompacts at low cost. As far as distribution goes, the two will most likely compare notes on China, where VW is strong, and on India, where Suzuki rules the roost.
While on the topic of the earnings meeting, VW’s its net profit dropped 80 percent to €960m in 2009. Its global sales slid 8 percent to €105b. Their sales inched up 1 percent to 6.31 million units. All in all, not a bad way to survive one of the worst car years in recent history.
Volkswagen definitely doesn’t seem to be short of cash: They plan to spend €8b on development this year alone. All in the name of the grand strategy to rule the world by 2018.
Today, Suzuki’s stock rose 2.1 percent on the news of the joint breeding.
they chose VW to get hybrid technology? VW is probably the last company that has jumped (have they yet?) on the hybrid band wagon. Especially since every other non-hybrid car maker at least was polite enough to not laugh about hybrids, VW always ridiculed hybrids (forgetting the Audi Duo) I now need to run, need to buy some climate protecting technology from the Republican National Congress (or was it drilling equipment?)
Since the conventionally styled (GMDAT/South Korea sourced) Suzukis sold fairly well for awhile, it proves something. Americans are willing to buy cars from auto/motorcycle makers - if the cars don't look "peculiar" (as the SX4's do). With that in mind, perhaps VW should send rebadged Skoda Octavia sedans and wagons, and Superb sedans and wagons to "sandwich" the new Kizashi in North America. Then go chase down the ex-Isuzu dealers in open areas, and if they are sufficiently good businesses to tie-up with, make them an offer. In other words, expand the dealership network. Then market the cars AND the warrantee. Here's why: VW people buy VW's (and there are increasingly fewer of them in the USA, I would say). Suzuki has a chance to take on the Honda/Toyota/Mazda/Nissan buyers and give them an alternative.
Hmm. I don't see Suzuki really making a US play. To quote Bertel, what hybrid technology? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/vw-to-provide-hybrid-technology-to-suzuki-what-hybrid-technology/ Suzuki has a great plan for making cheap cars -- just make them out of cheap steel like they did back in 1985. Tiny engines, drum brakes, no airbags. VW knows that too.
Now that is what I call eyebrows!