By on October 19, 2010

Executives at GM Europe were reportedly outraged when “Mr Opel” jumped ship to arch-rival VW, after the Wolfsburg boys entered an alliance with Suzuki. After all, Demant had been instrumental in developing the Opel Agila, a rebadge of the Suzuki Splash built in Hungary. Since Demant’s departure, Opel has left the Agila to the wolves, saying it would develop an all-new “premium” city car, to take on VW’s Up head-on. VW’s response: deciding that its Euro-focused Up was too expensive for the booming Indian market, and announcing to Autocar that instead it would… rebadge Suzukis. The Suzuki Alto (aka Maruti Suzuki A-Star aka Suzuki Celerio, aka Nissan Pixo) will form the basis of an entry level Indian VW, while the Suzuki Wagon R will underpin an Indian Skoda model. Because nothing builds a global brand like a good rebadge (just ask GM). Sounds like Demant should be pulling a paycheck from Suzuki as well as from VW.

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