Japan's Suzuki cancels Volkswagen partnership
Japanese automaker Suzuki on Monday said it had decided to end its capital and business partnership with Germany's Volkswagen following disagreements between the two on how to operate.
Suzuki said it had asked Volkswagen to end the capital alliance between the firms and unload its stake in the carmaker, in a statement through the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
"We formally decided at a board of directors meeting to cancel the business partnership and capital ties with Volkswagen AG due to worries that it is deemed difficult to achieve our company's objective concerning the business partnership," Suzuki said.
"We will ask Volkswagen AG to dispose of (Suzuki) shares in correspondence with our company's intentions," adding that it would dispose of its shares in the German automaker in the same way.
Volkswagen's purchase of a 19.9-percent stake in Suzuki in December 2009 had been seen as an opportunity for both carmakers to benefit from their respective strengths in hybrid and small-car technologies.
The Japanese automaker holds about 1.5 percent of the German company, or 4.39 million shares, a Suzuki spokesman said.
However the 1.7 billion euro ($2.3 billion) alliance turned sour, with Suzuki complaining that its autonomy was being jeopardised and that it was being treated like a subsidiary by Volkswagen.
In a loaded statement on Monday, Suzuki said it was seeking "genuine business partners" among automakers at home and overseas "with which we have no capital ties".
Suzuki shares closed down 2.75 percent at 1,484 yen.
© 2011 AFP