Suzuki’s split with Vw made it even more difficult to offer cars in the U.S.

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 8, 2012

One of the problems that have made Suzuki Motor Corp. in America struggle further in this market is its fallout with partner Volkswagen. This made it even more difficult for Suzuki to continue offering vehicles in the U.S. After Suzuki split with one-time shareholder General Motors, the Japanese manufacturer asked Volkswagen AG in 2009 to be its new protector in the global market.

VW can provide huge funding and has a big global reach. VW can help Suzuki by giving it access to new markets and by offering advanced product planning. A key element in this alliance is in benefiting from VW’s expertise in building sophisticated technologies and drivetrains that are fuel efficient.

Suzuki is in desperate need of assistance, particularly in electrified drivetrain technologies like hybrid systems, to remain relevant in advanced markets like the U.S. This partnership is meant to transform into a relationship where Suzuki could make use of VW's immense retail network or its manufacturing base in North America.

This was the plan but it fell apart in 2011 when Suzuki took offense at VW's insistence that the Germans were boss. Their relationship quickly fizzled.

Currently, Suzuki and VW are locked in arbitration. Suzuki hopes to compel VW to relinquish its 19.89% stake. VW doesn’t plan on giving in. Suzuki's fortunes in North America dried up as it grew apart from GM. Its lineup decreased in number and it had to let go of its sole North American production site, CAMI Automotive Inc. located in Ingersoll, Ontario.

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