Suzuki vs. Volkswagen: things get nasty

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The acrimonious shredding of the agreement between Suzuki and Volkswagen has been made official, with Suzuki serving a legal 'notice of breach' after trying in vain to patch up the relationship.

Suzuki says it has not "received what we were promised" from Volkswagen, after the two entered into a partnership in January 2009, which at the time seemed both odd and justifiable in equal measure.

The Japanese and German behemoths agreed that VW would buy a 19.9 percent chunk in Suzuki for $2.5bn. In turn, Suzuki bought a 1.49 percent stake in VW.

The deal was supposed to give Suzuki access to Volkswagen's expertise in low emissions powertrains, while Suzuki would show VW a thing or two about building small cars.

But it's all gone sour, with Suzuki saying that Volkswagen has reneged on the terms of the deal by withholding access to its technology; the Japanese company wants its ball back, and the jumpers it provided as goalposts, because it thinks VW is tackling dirty.

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

"We are very encouraged by Suzuki's consistently solid performance. We remain on track for profitability and are excited about the potential for future growth."

Suzuki claims that the notice of breach has come after "a period of prolonged efforts...to progress its relationship with VW."

Volkswagen has yet to officially respond to the notice, although speaking to Bloomsberg, VW's Michael Brendel said that "the accusations are completely unfounded," and that "Volkswagen has from the start done all it could to safeguard the partnership."

We like Volkswagen at Autoblog. We also like Suzuki. But which one is right? There's only one way to find out...