Suzuki Alto Lapin - Click above for high-res gallery
According to reports from Reuters and Manager Magazin in Germany, Volkswagen is keen to purchase a 10 percent stake in Suzuki in order to cooperate on future small cars for emerging markets. In its home market of Japan, Suzuki is the second-largest automaker (behind Toyota) and dominates the tiny Kei car market alongside Toyota-owned Daihatsu.
These miniature 660cc vehicles are extremely popular in Japan's dense urban settings and Volkswagen reportedly believes this class of automobile holds great promise for emerging markets. In India, for example, Tata Motors has seen a great deal of success with its diminutive Nano, which is billed as the cheapest car in the world.
Suzuki already enjoys a measure of success in Tata's home turf, where its Maruti Suzuki subsidiary offers the Alto, which has been the best-selling automobile in India since 2004. At this time, both Suzuki and Volkswagen are declining comment, but VW chairman Ferdinand Piech has praised the Japanese automaker numerous times in the past.