Suzuki Accuses Volkswagen Of Breaching Alliance

TOKYO (AP) — Suzuki Motor Corp. said Friday that Volkswagen AG has committed numerous breaches of their 2009 alliance to develop green cars and wants the German automaker to return its Suzuki shares.

Volkswagen owns 19.9 percent of Suzuki under a hybrid and electric car partnership inked two years ago that never got off the ground and has unraveled into a public feud. Suzuki holds about 1.5 percent of Volkswagen.

"I remain disappointed that we have not received what we were promised," Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki said in a statement. "If Volkswagen will not allow access it must return Suzuki's shares."

Suzuki's board of directors decided last month to dissolve the alliance and hoped to buy back its shares from Volkswagen. In response, Volkswagen said it has no plans to sell its stake in Suzuki.

The automakers established one of the world's biggest auto alliances when they joined hands in 2009. They said they would work together on product development, production and sales, with a focus on hybrid and electric cars.

Suzuki entered the deal expecting access to Volkswagen's core technologies, which would accelerate the Japanese company's development of green vehicles. But no such project was in the works nearly two years later.

For Volkswagen, the alliance represented an opportunity to boost its footprint in emerging markets. Suzuki holds nearly half the market share in India, while Volkswagen is strong in China as well as in South America and Europe.

"This notice follows a period of prolonged efforts by Suzuki to progress its relationship with VW, as agreed at the partnership's inception," the company based in Hamamatsu city said.