As any hard-drinking country singer knows, after the divorce, there’s the paperwork and the court date. For Suzuki, its split with Volkswagen has led the two companies to court, as Suzuki serves VW with a legal notice, demanding that the German carmaker give back its shares—yet, VW won’t play ball.
A collective “oh snap!” resonated through Suzuki’s Hamamatsu headquarters when it claimed that VW had failed to share its advanced technology, such as the hybrid system found in the NILS concept above, in the partnership. Suzuki is demanding that VW sells back its 20-percent stake in its company. But despite those demands, VW has decided that it will hold onto Suzuki’s shares.
“This capital alliance was intended to facilitate Suzuki’s access to VW’s core technologies. I remain disappointed that we have not received what we were promised,” said CEO Osamu Suzuki. “If Volkswagen will not allow access it must return Suzuki’s shares.”
Volkswagen, of course, has a different take on it. “Volkswagen will not be making any changes to its shareholding in Suzuki Motor Corp,” said a company spokesperson. “The discussion between both parties will be exclusively conducted internally. For that reason, Volkswagen will not comment on any further speculation.”
VW also failed to address Suzuki’s demands, as well as the 1.5-percent stake Suzuki has in VW. Not surprisingly, VW claims it did nothing wrong. “The accusations are completely unfounded,” said spokesman Michael Brendel.
Winners never quit, after all, and no matter how distressing this “partnership of equals” has become, both companies are holding onto each others shares with incredible determination. Despite this, Suzuki is still looking to get out of the relationship as fast as possible—and maybe move in with its parents, or a buddy downtown, until it can start seeing a different advanced-technology automaker.