Fiat and Tata has reportedly stepped away from a tieup in the Indian market that saw Fiats being built in India, using engines shared with Tata and Maruti models, and being sold through Tata dealers. Neither company commented, but according to analysts, the issue was that in addition to Tata was simply too busy with its other endeavors, especially Jaguar Land Rover, to attend to the Fiat deal. Sales of the joint-venture vehicles have declined by more than 20 percent year-on-year.

The Fiat-Tata union isn't binding, and talk has now centered around Fiat snuggling up with Suzuki. Suzuki has a huge position in Asia, Suzuki-Maruti being India's largest carmaker and the Japanese firm having sold more than half its cars in the Asia region, excluding Japan, over the year that ended March 31. Fiat, on the other hand, only sold three percent of its wares in Asia in 2011.

There is debate about how beneficial a Fiat-Suzuki tieup would be. Suzuki's position is facing pressures, but some observers say the Japanese firm has all the strengths and, at most, would benefit from "a timely supply of engines," but possibly confuse customers by adding Fiat to its distribution channel. Others think that it would be a good union, with Fiat providing "a sound name" and a technology exchange.

Such a venture would rely on Suzuki extricating itself from its still-binding union with Volkswagen, an adventure that has probably soured Suzuki on the phrase "technology exchange" for a bit. Among the problematic issues, Suzuki has accused VW of breach-of-contract by not sharing VW technology and not initiating any of the joint projects that were Suzuki's reason for the deal. Suzuki and Fiat presently collaborate on the Fiat Sedici/Suzuki SX4, and when Suzuki bought diesel engines from Fiat instead of VW, the German company accused the Japanese automaker of breach-of-contract. Both parties are in arbitration over the matter; last we heard, Suzuki wants its 20-percent stake returned, while VW is still in favor of the partnership. A VW victory would nix the kind of Suzuki deal with Fiat being speculated now.


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  • 19 Comments
      John Robinson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fiat is taking over the world.
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd like to see Suzuki work Fiat rather VW seeing as how VW doesn't want to do anything to help its smaller partner.
      PACMK02
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this alliance is just what Suzuki needs if it wants to stay in the American market. The new Chrysler Pentastar can give Suzuki's Kisashi a new lease on life and Dodge Journey's underpinnings can be used for a new 7 passenger crossover. Suzuki needs this in order to survive in America. Let's see what happens!
      Leather Bear
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fiat could do a lot worse that getting in bed with Sergio M. and crew. The earlier SX4/Sedici sharing seemed to work well for both companies; Swift Twin-Air anybody?
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      It does seem a little odd considering Suzuki and Fiat both have decent small car offerings. Maybe Fiat wants to get their medium and larger vehicles (including Chryslers) into Suzuki's Asian network.
      Myself
      • 2 Years Ago
      What else is new? SX-4 and Sedici are twins, the difference is SX-4 sells in Europe, the Sedici not so much.
      loopless
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think the problem is that Suzuki does not realize VW threw them a lifeline and reacted with typical Japanese arrogance. Suzuki would have (and may still) gone the way of Saab if they were not backed by a huge parent company.. They need to swallow their pride...
        MyerShift
        • 2 Years Ago
        @loopless
        Except that Suzuki doesn't have profitability issues from what I understand.
        quuppa70
        • 2 Years Ago
        @loopless
        it doesnt necessarily help any, see whats going on with SEAT
        The Wasp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @loopless
        Also Suzuki makes their own cars...some of which are quite popular in certain markets.
      Travis C. Vasconcelo
      • 2 Years Ago
      The reason VW purchased the 20% stake in Suzuki in the first place was to kill them. Why else would a manufacturer of small cars purchase another when they don't need them. Not sharing technologies, platforms, or engines with Suzuki shows VW are wanting to squelch the little Japanese entity. If you squelch the underdog long enough, you kill them, and have access to their markets. That said, VW doesn't have a strong presence in south Asia. ‘Nuff said? Marvin Winterkorn (CEO VW) is a douchebag! As much as I have liked VW products in the past, I wouldn't purchase one if my life depended on it because of Winterkorn and his bottom feeder business tactics. If VW doesn't release its chokehold on Suzuki, say goodbye to the little Japanese company that once could and did...because they are DOA under Winterkorn's Fuheristic and terroristic reign.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Travis C. Vasconcelo
        "terroristic reign" wow.... way to make yourself sound like the right. Adding "terroristic reign" to make people fear something.
      DaysGone
      • 2 Years Ago
      This doesn't sound good. Suzuki seems to be trying to profit from the sucess of the FIAT-Chrysler joint venture. But they are not innocent. Aren't they heavily involved with Toyota? This seems to be more of a spy measure on the part of Suzuki than an alliance. FIAT had better watch out.
      T-Mille
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds like a hot time.
      Cruising
      • 2 Years Ago
      One of the problems with Suzuki is that they try to hard to tie in their recreational vehicles with their cars "active lifestyle" marketing. Instead they have built unispiring vehicles, the Kizashi is neat but cosidering cars of the past Forenza, Reno, Verona they just seem generic like Korean cars of the past.
        PACMK02
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cruising
        Forenza, Reno and Verona weren't real Suzukis, they were Daewoos....another brilliant GM idea.
      believablyunlucky
      • 2 Years Ago
      its maruti suzuki, not the other way around. and im actually glad that fiat may be partnering up with someone other than tata. their customer service is horrible, while MS have a reputation for quality and good customer service.
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