Volkswagen Waits For Divine Intervention In Suzuki Drama

volkswagen waits for divine intervention in suzuki drama

That interview with Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is a treasure-trove of information. It also gives an insight into Volkswagen’s strategy with rambunctious Suzuki: It will be a Sitzkrieg. Volkswagen seems to be intent on waiting things out until Osamu Suzuki passes away.

Winterkorn will be at the Tokyo Motor Show. Someone with a perverse bent made Volkswagen (booths EP06 through EP10) close neighbors of Suzuki (EP12). Only Mitsubishi (EP11) keeps the brawling couple at distance. But Winterkorn doesn’t have Osamu Suzuki on his dance card:

“A meeting is not planned. Should we run into each other, then we can talk about everything. There is one exception: Our 19.9 percent share is not for sale.”

Asked how Winterkorn intends to settle the matter, he answers:

“We have a lot of patience. Our targets are long-term. If the current management team at Suzuki doesn’t want to work with us, then maybe the next generation may want to.”

We had picked-up rumors long ago that Volkswagen may be counting on the – as the saying goes in Wolfsburg – “biological solution”. Suzuki’s Chairman Osamu Suzuki is 81, a full seven years older than Ferdinand Piech.

That’s a risky bet. Japanese tend to live a long life. And in any case, the instigator behind the row is said to be Suzuki Executive Vice President Yasuhito Harayama. At age 55, Harayama doesn’t look like an immediate candidate for the biological solution. The 64 year old Winterkorn should know that.

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  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.
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