Suzuki sends 'rebuttal letter' to VW
Japan's Suzuki Motor on Thursday sent a "rebuttal letter" to its German partner Volkswagen and demanded it withdraw its claim the Japanese firm violated a partnership deal.
In an increasingly sticky row, Suzuki said it has "requested Volkswagen AG to revoke its notice claiming that Suzuki is in breach of the Framework Agreement," a statement said.
Suzuki said its "global reputation has been significantly damaged by the announcement made by Volkswagen AG," and demanded the German company "publicly announce such revocation by 30 September."
The two car makers entered into a strategic alliance in December 2009, with VW buying a 19.9-percent stake in Suzuki and the Japanese group buying 1.5 percent of its German partner with the aim of pooling their respective strengths in hybrid and small-car technologies.
But the 1.7-billion-euro ($2.3-billion) alliance turned sour, and Suzuki said earlier this month that it wanted to sever ties with VW, claiming its autonomy was under threat and the German giant was treating it as a subsidiary.
"Suzuki never breached our agreement," its chairman Osamu Suzuki said in a separate statement. "Volkswagens notice and press release hinder our effort to develop attractive new products and significantly disparage Suzukis honour.
"This partnership does not bring us benefits we expected but turned out to be a 'ball and chain' for our managerial independence."
© 2011 AFP