Suzuki is demanding Volkswagen retract published statements, implying that the Japanese automaker breached contracts with Volkswagen by sourcing diesel engines from Fiat. Suzuki has even given Volkswagen a deadline of September 30, claiming that its global reputation has been significantly damaged by Volkswagen’s announcement.
The two automakers view Suzuki’s actions in a different light: while VW says that sourcing engines from Fiat violated the terms of the agreement between Suzuki and Volkswagen, Suzuki claims that they had received prior consent from VW to approach Fiat. Suzuki further claims that VW’s diesel engines did not meet Suzuki’s expectations, giving them no alternative but to look for other partners.
While Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki is pushing hard for an end to the relationship (actually referring to it as a “ball and chain”), Volkswagen seems indifferent to the drama. In fact, VW has refused to sell their stake in Suzuki, despite repeated offers from Osamu Suzuki to repurchase the shares.
As Automotive News (subscription required) reports, Suzuki is adamant that any working relationship between the two companies is over. Volkswagen, who has yet to comment on Suzuki’s demand, doesn’t appear to have an interest in terminating its relationship with Suzuki.
Just as in a civil divorce, expect this drama to play out in a courtroom before it’s ultimately resolved.