VW says won't wage public battle with Suzuki

17th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

German auto giant Volkswagen said Monday it would not be drawn into conducting a dispute with Japanese partner Suzuki in public, but hoped to resolve the matter in private.

"Discussions between the parties will be held strictly internally," VW said in a short statement.

VW reiterated its intention to hold on to its 19.9-percent stake in Suzuki, and added: "We will not comment further on any speculation."

The statement came after Suzuki upped the stakes in the escalating row last week as it served the German automaker a legal notice demanding it "remedy numerous breaches" of their ill-fated alliance.

Suzuki said it served Volkswagen with a "notice of breach", claiming it was not given access to technologies promised under their 1.7 billion euro ($2.3 billion) tie-up.

It demanded that if the German firm does not offer access to the hybrid technologies, the auto giant must sell back its stake and quit the alliance.

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.

However, the alliance turned sour and last month VW announced that it was serving notice of an infringement by Suzuki of their cooperation agreement.

© 2011 AFP

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