In 2010, Volkswagen purchased 19.9 percent of Suzuki, and the two have been working together in the form of a self-described comprehensive partnership. Apparently, "working together" means different things to the two automakers, however, because neither side is thrilled with the Japanese-German automotive tie-up. So much so, that Suzuki may be looking to take its talents to Italy.

Suzuki currently has a deal with Fiat, in which the Japanese automaker supplies its SX4 crossover for rebadging as the Sedici in Europe. There are reports that Suzuki is looking for ways to expand its relationship with Fiat, yet we've heard no word on whether the Italian automaker is interested in getting any cozier at this point.

Why is Suzuki ready to move on from Volkswagen? The automaker reportedly wants to get its hands dirty on some of VW's North American assembly facilities, but that hasn't happened yet. On the flip side, Volkswagen wants a piece of the Indian car market. Suzuki has strong roots planted in that market thanks to its partnership with Maruti. Both sides have clearly been expecting more out of this relationship, yet neither is happy. Suzuki has a lot more to lose, however, so expect to see it make a move sooner rather than later.


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  • 33 Comments
      Greg-in-Japan
      • 3 Years Ago
      When the initial announcement of the alliance was made it was logical; VW is huge in China where Suzuki is struggling, and Suzuki is absolutely dominant (over 50% market share) in India, which is a much smaller market than China, but is touted to be the next-big-thing (from about 3million sales last year forecast as high as 9 million by 2020). There were also rumours at one point that VW was thinking of going after Ducati and wanted a motorcycle company in its network. Like their cars or not, Suzuki bikes are some of the best in the world, though why that hasnt translated into their cars better, I dont know! To see the alliance crumbling is not surprising either. You have a global behemeth and a much smaller, still family-controlled trying to get along. From the start Suzuki was adamant that VW didnt have voting rights or any control, though they may have been trying to impose their will. Perhaps initially noted as an "alliance of equals", it likely wasnt considered that way in Wolfsburg. Fiat may be a better partner as they might be more accommodating of the assistance that Suzuki can provide, with greater synergies all around. Suzuki wants to brings it products more up-market (and up-profit), and could use some of the expertise within the Fiat group to help it do that.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Steve
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think that they should work together. Suzuki has a good reliabilty record which Fiat and Chrysler can learn from. Suzuki has dealerships throughout the world which can help sell more Fiats and Chrysler products. They can all share technology ideas as well. I think it's a good move and they should do it quickly.
        Não Pirilamparás
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Steve
        Part of the current agreement between Fiat and Suzuki (which has been going on for about 5 years already) includes Suzuki using two of Fiat's Multijet engines (the 1.3 and the 1.9), which are very reliable engines. I'm not saying Fiat and Chrysler can't learn anything from Suzuki, but don't be so quick to go the reliability route…
      Frank
      • 3 Years Ago
      If we learned anything from Daimler's handling of Chrysler Suzuki will be much better off cooperating with FIAT then VW.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bet Mr Suzuki is much more impressed with what's happening over at Chrysler now than what happened during Daimler days. Marchionne has more needs and more flexibilty. At Marchionne Motors, Suzuki would be a worthy addition and could be given a specific platform to engineer and build in it's factories (next generation Panda/Baby Wrangler or even the next 500/Punto). VW doesn't need anything except access to Japan.
        Não Pirilamparás
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        The next generation Panda will be introduced in a few months, so there's no way they'll give that to Suzuki to engineer, not to mention it's one of Fiat's most reliable platforms currently (small cars is what they do best), so there's really no need for synergies there.
        ExoPlanet
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        EVERYONE is impressed with whats happening over at Chrysler these days.
      CLASSIFIED
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Suzuki may be looking to take its talents to Italy." "...talents..." What.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      huisj203
      • 3 Years Ago
      VW is probably mad because the Kizashi is a way cooler car than the new Jetta. Suzuki is probably mad that despite that, the Jetta is selling like mad and most people have no idea what a Kizashi even is.
      Bryan Lund
      • 3 Years Ago
      Truth be that, and this. Suzuki run as far away from Volkswagen as you can, you don't need their kind of "help".
      TahsinZ
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other news, Suzuki will be sending a replacement for the Fiat Sedici. Sources indicate that it will be called the Fiat Seditious. ;-)
      mahalo5000
      • 3 Years Ago
      When Daimler attempted to foist its Teutonic culture on Chrysler, the results were disastrous. The Japanese are much more regimented than we Americans, however, the cultural clash with Suzuki and VW might be even worse. Best for Suzuki to steer clear of VW.
      ferociousgto
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want a Suzuki Jimny (Samurai) in the USA.
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