Volkswagen is purchasing a 19.9% ownership stake in Suzuki giving it an expanded presence in vehicle markets in both China and India while Suzuki gains access to markets in Europe. Volkswagen will now have access to Suzuki’s small car technology while Suzuki gains from Volkswagen’s engineering used in hybrids and electrics.
The 2 companies together are almost as large as Toyota, currently the world’s number 1 automaker. If Toyota slips, the Volkswagen-Suzuki combination may be able to pass them and take over that spot.
Suzuki is currently the number 3 motorcycle manufacturer by volume, selling 3.28 million motorcycles in the fiscal year ending March 2009. There has been no specific mention of the effect this combination will have on the motorcycle portion of Suzuki’s business, but it should be positive due to the strength of the new organization.
Of course, VW does have some interesting engines, like a certain 3 cylinder turbo diesel from a VW Lupo used in the Thunder Star 1200.