Suzuki has become the latest brand to become part of the Volkswagen Group after VW agreed to buy a 19.9 per cent stake in the Japanese microcar specialist.
VW has been attracted to Suzuki by its expertise in small car design and by purchasing a stake in the firm, VW has gained access to Japan’s kei-car market and a firmer foothold in China, where Suzuki has a large presence. VW is already China's top-selling manufacturer.
In a statement, VW said, “As demand continues to rise for smaller cars and for powertrains with higher fuel efficiency and lower CO2 output, Volkswagen and Suzuki will offer a compelling solution for customers in emerging markets buying a car for the first time and also for customers in advanced economies seeking to lower their CO2 footprint while still enjoying the freedom of transport offered by an exciting range of cars.
“Both parties are focused on achieving synergies in the areas of rapidly growing emerging markets as well as in the development and manufacturing of innovative and environmentally friendly compact cars.”
Suzuki will become the 10th brand to fall under the VW Group banner. The Group wants to become the world’s largest car maker by 2018.
VW expects the deal to close in January 2010.