Wednesday, September 14, 2011

VW seeks talks with Suzuki

Frankfurt—German auto giant Volkswagen said late Monday it is seeking talks with Japanese partner Suzuki, after the latter announced its intention to end their two-year-old alliance.

“We want to talk. We haven’t changed our view of Suzuki as an investment,” VW chief Martin Winterkorn said at a press event for the IAA motor show here.

“We’re not working on any alternative scenarios” to the cooperation with Suzuki and Europe’s biggest car maker has no plans to sell its 19.9-percent stake in the Japanese group, said VW finance chief Hans Dieter Poetsch.

Earlier, Suzuki said it wanted to sever ties with VW, claiming its autonomy was under threat and the German giant was treating it as its own subsidiary.

The two car makers entered into a strategic alliance in December 2009, with VW buying a 19.9-percent stake in Suzuki and the Japanese group buying 1.5 percent of its German partner with the aim of pooling their respective strengths in hybrid and small-car technologies.

However, the 1.7-billion-euro ($2.3-billion) alliance turned sour.

And VW announced at the weekend that it was serving notice of an infringement by Suzuki of their cooperation agreement.—AFP

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