The saga of the on-off relationship between Volkswagen and Suzuki continues with Germany’s Der SPIEGEL magazine reporting at the weekend that VW could make the Japanese company its subsidiary by buying a bigger stake.
The magazine quoted an unnamed VW executive as saying that the possibility of launching a hostile takeover of Suzuki has not been ruled out.
Suzuki is looking to dissolve its nearly two-year capital partnership with VW. It has complained about what it sees as ‘heavy-handedness’ by VW which seeks the dominant role in the relationship.
Der Spiegel said that VW, the leading shareholder in the Japanese company with a 19.9% stake, wants Suzuki as its base for small-sized car business within the group.
It is now possible for the German automaker to raise its stake in the Japanese carmaker without consent after Suzuki announced Sept. 12 that it will terminate the tie-up, the magazine added.
After concluding the tie-up in 2009, Suzuki has asked VW to end the partnership, protesting against the German company’s move to increase its involvement in Suzuki’s management, which wants to maintain its autonomy through an equal partnership.
Suzuki said it will buy back shares held by VW but the German carmaker has indicated its intention to hang on to its stake.