German reports suggest a deal could be done; microcar likely to be sold in Asia

Volkswagen is considering building a microcar with Suzuki, according to sources in Germany.

The car would mainly be marketed at Asian markets, where there is greater demand for microcars. Suzuki has great expertise in the sector, which it dominates with Daihatsu in Japan.

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The VW/Suzuki tie-up reports have been fuelled by comments from VW chairman Ferdinand Piech. At the launch of the new Polo in Sardinia last month, Piech praised Suzuki when he was asked which brands could be acquired by the VW group.

Commenting on the tie-up reports in German business magazine Manager Magazin, a German source close to VW said: “You have to see it through an Asian perspective, particularly a Japanese one. There are vehicle sizes and classes that cannot be found here (in Europe).”

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“You only see them at the Tokyo motor show but it is undoubtedly an interesting segment, just have a quick look at the developing markets like India. It's correct that there is a gap there that could be closed.”

The popularity of Suzuki’s 660cc microcar in Japan has seen the brand become the second biggest seller in the country behind Toyota.

Indian manufacturer Tata has put its own microcar on sale in India, the Nano, for around £1700, with European and American versions set to follow in the next couple of years.

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Mark Tisshaw

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