Fiat to pick up where VW left off in Suzuki deal?
After the recent VW-Suzuki spat that saw the two automotive giants void a pretty lucrative deal, it appears Fiat has thrown its hat in the ring with plans to strengthen the partnership between itself and Suzuki.
Fiat already provides diesel engines for Suzuki's Indian market vehicles, a setup that VW claims violated its original deal with Suzuki anyway. But while the new deal could be good for Suzuki, the Japanese manufacturer could be looking at some serious litigation coming from VW's direction.
The Japanese-German partnership turned sour this year, with VW claiming Suzuki reneged on the terms of the deal by signing a contract with Fiat for those engines.
In retaliation, Suzuki claims Volkswagen tried to stitch the company up, suppressing its interests by noting the company down as a subsidiary of VW on its books.
However, there's no stopping the partnership between Fiat and Suzuki, according to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne: "We're going to continue to work with Suzuki, and move forward with them. I have a very good relationship with the Suzuki family. They are a small company but they make money. They are gutsy. I admire that," he said.
A metaphorical two fingers to the face of VW, perhaps? With the German firm expressing more than a passing interest in buying Alfa Romeo, a Fiat owned brand, it's now even more unlikely that Marchionne will be willing to sell. A factor that's likely to put VW's back up even more.
Quoted in Autocar, Marchionne said: "I meet with Martin Winterkorn [VW boss] from time to time, and it's true he came to me and said he was interested in buying Alfa, but I just told him it is not on the cards now. Alfa in VW's hands would not be Alfa."
This ménage a trois between Suzuki, VW and Fiat may have just become extremely interesting...