Suzuki is turning to legal arbiters in the UK in an attempt to force Volkswagen to return its 19.9-percent stake in the Japanese automaker, according to Automotive News Europe. VW purchased the sizable slice of Suzuki in 2009 for around $2.1 billion when the two embarked on a corporate partnership together, but the relationship soon hit trouble. Suzuki accused Volkswagen of failing to deliver on promises of shared technology, while the German manufacturer reportedly took issue with Suzuki opting
The partnership beween Volkswagen and Suzuki is more than two years old, yet in that time, more acrimony and court proceedings have been created than jointly developed products – not hard to do when that product number is zero. Continent-crossing accusations have included Suzuki being upset at how VW has characterized the relationship and that VW hasn't shared its technology, while the German automaker has been miffed at Suzuki buying diesel engines from Fiat.
Last month on The Young and the Restless Volkswagen-Suzuki Partnership, Osamu Suzuki was publicly declaring his angst with the "ball-and-chain" union, proclaiming it needed to end and serving legal papers. Volkswagen, meanwhile, was saying little other than that it wanted to speak to its partner privately and was not ready for a divorce, in spite of previously serving its own legal papers.
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.
Volkswagen currently holds a 19.9-percent stake in Suzuki, making the German automaker the largest shareholder in the much smaller Japanese automaker. Will VW try to increase its stake in Suzuki in the future? Not if it's up to Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki.