The technology-sharing partnership and subsequent dispute between VW and Suzuki is formally ended following a ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce
Darren Moss
1 September 2015

Volkswagen and Suzuki have formally settled a long-running dispute over shares as a result of its technology-sharing deal.

The International Chamber of Commerce has ruled that Volkswagen should sell its current 19.9% stake in the Japanese car maker, bringing to a close a legal dispute dating back to 2011 and the two firms’ partnership, which first began in 2009.

Originally it was thought that Volkswagen would use the partnership to launch a new Up-based microcar for the Asian market. The brief for the project, according to Volkswagen, was “to cooperate on the joint development of innovative and eco-friendly budget cars and on expanding their presence in dynamic emerging automotive markets”.

As part of the legal dispute, Suzuki alleged that Volkswagen tried to suppress its interests by representing it as a subsidiary of the VolkswagenGroup, while VW was said to have been angered when Suzuki signed a deal with Fiat for the supply of diesel engines.

When asked whether his company would consider working with Volkswagen again, Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki said: “You will not remarry someone you have divorced.

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“It used to feel as if a small bone were stuck in my throat. I feel so refreshed now.”

Suzuki will now attempt to buy back its shares from Volkswagen, which analysts have told Reuters could be worth about £2.5 billion.

In a statement, Volkswagen said it “welcomes the clarity” given by the ruling.

Despite the formal dissolution of its partnership with Suzuki, Volkswagen is moving ahead with plans to launch its own budget brand for the Asian market.

The first vehicles to launch under the new brand, which is as yet un-named, will be seen in 2018. The initial line-up will include an SUV, a hatchback and a saloon. All three will be sold in China with starting prices ranging from €8-11,000 (£5670-£7800).

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Comments
5

1 September 2015
I say well done Suzuki but too bad you are not addressing that very issue with GM who in my opinion behaves way worse than VW.

1 September 2015
If 19 per cent of the Suzuki shares are valued at £2.5 billion then that means Suzuki total shares value would be £12 to £13 billion. Not exactly a small fry that Suzuki comes across as in the UK. As for its "divorce" with the Volkswagen? Well, it seems Volkswagen would either have complete control or none at all.

1 September 2015
Well done Suzuki for sticking two fingers up to VW. In recent years Suzuki seem to be enjoying a golden period for new vehicle development which larger manufacturers must be scratching their heads over (even if now instead of making cars for niches that don't exist they are duplicating models in proven niches). Suzuki is no stranger to JV's, eg Fiat and GM, and getting together with somebody like Mazda (another smaller manufacturer flourishing/innovating now they are not part of a big multinational) on specific platforms, or even JLR, would be no bad thing.

2 September 2015
I'm glad Volkswagen was forced to sell their near 20% stake in Suzuki, as it does appear that VAG expected Suzuki to be faithful only to them despite the latter being an independent company. Suzuki should be able to buy diesel engines from FIAT if they please, Volkswagen were probably overcharging.

3 September 2015
This was a megalomaniac's way of taking control of a Japanese manufacturer by stealth and seizing market share in Japan and other markets through a Trojan Horse manoevure. Oddly enough Suzukie were as stupid or spineless as Wolfsburg expected.

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