Blog: Suzuki and VW
Dave Leggett | 15 January 2013
A look at Suzuki's share price suggests that investors have been taking a highly positive view of prospects for the company in recent months. You may recall that it decided to exit the US market (on cars, not on motorcycles and some other products), where it was losing money, not so long ago. Suzuki then decided to focus on Asia, which makes sense strategically – given the company's product strengths. Industrial relations issues in India also seem to have calmed down.
There is, however, still a knotty problem involving the rather acrimonious break-up with Volkswagen. The erstwhile strategic partners are locked in conflict (lawyers at dawn) because VW is clinging on to a 19.9% stake in Suzuki. Suzuki is trying to force it to give that up (it effectively bars Suzuki from other OEM partnerships). This has been rumbling along since late 2011. I gather a final arbitration is now in prospect.
Interesting to note that VW is now talking about a low-cost brand aimed squarely at emerging markets, especially in Asia. That might have been something that Suzuki could have helped with...
Overseas readers may be picking up media reports of a 'fracas' and a presenter's suspension at popular BBC TV programme Top Gear and wondering what's going on....
General Motors' European chief, Karl-Thomas Neumann, was on good form in Geneva this week....
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