Mike Stevens | Aug 24, 2009

REPORTS in late June suggested that Volkswagen had been toying with a possible cooperative alliance with Japanese manufacturer Suzuki to improve its 'ultra small car' expertise.

According to a Reuters piece at the time, an unidentified source said that Volkswagen was looking to offer a range of small cars based on the Up! concept, and was looking at an alliance to help reduce the project's development costs.

Volkswagen CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn has now added some credence to the earlier reports, telling German publication Manager Magazin that "Suzuki would be an interesting partner because of its competency in small cars".


The magazine reported that the German giant was investigating the option of buying a 10 percent stake in Suzuki, ensuring access to the Japanese manufacturer's technology and knowledge.

In June however, the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper quoted Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki at the time as saying that no contact has been made between the two manufacturers.

"So far there's been absolutely no contact (with Volkswagen). Lately, we've been the victim of a lot of rumours (of equity tie-ups and cooperation deals)," he commented at the time.

Things would now appear to have moved, at least from Volkswagen's perspective. This looks to be a case of 'watch this space'.

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