Suzuki: Indians Not Included

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
suzuki indians not included

When Volkswagen bought 20 percent (well, 19.9) of Suzuki, everybody assumed it would be one of Volkswagen’s favorite “win-win-win” deals: Volkswagen gets better access to India, where Suzuki owns half the market. Suzuki gets better access to China, where Volkswagen is the largest passenger car brand. Both will work happily together to rule the world by 2018. Now Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki says at least the Indian part is not true.

“Germany (Volkswagen) and Japan Suzuki are in talks,” Osamu Suzuki told The Nikkei [sub] at the sidelines of an industry conference. “Maruti Suzuki India has nothing to do with it.”

What is that all about?

See, part of the thinking is that Suzuki might provide Volkswagen with a smaller and cheaper car. Something like their A-Star. But there is a small problem.

It turns out that Nissan is sourcing the A-Star small car from Maruti Suzuki, and Suzuki doesn’t want to lose that business. The Made-in-India A-Star is sold as the Pixo in Europe. Not as many as during the Abwrackprämien-times. In the fiscal year that ended March 31, Nissan took 51,072 Pixos. This year, it looks like less than 30,000. But business is business.

“The agreement with Nissan will continue. Beyond three years, it will depend on discussions with Nissan,” Suzuki said.

Therefore, the talks are strictly between Hamamatsu and Wolfsburg, and if Nissan comes complaining about small car dalliances, Maruti Suzuki can deny ever having heard of anything:

“You know those Japanese. They never include us poor Indians in their discussions. Ooops. Sorry.”

Join the conversation
  • Matt Kowalis Matt Kowalis on Nov 30, 2010

    It seems that the auto companies located overseas know better than the U.S. These foreign auto makers are joining forces to create stronger competition in other markets overseas. I really doubt that we will be seeing people driving chevys overseas anytime soon. It seems that the small efficient foreign cars are the most popular and most accepted car right now. It is a smart move to combine comanies and generate a new small effecient car.

  • Kita Ikki Kita Ikki on Nov 30, 2010

    4-door car with pop-out (non-rolldown) rear side windows? GM tried that.

    • Stingray Stingray on Nov 30, 2010

      Toyota, Peugeot and Citröen do that. I guess since Toyota also offers a model like that it is ok to do it. And one Chery car does too.