2010 Volkswagen PoloEnlarge Photo
Volkswagen has previously professed a desire to become the largest carmaker in the world, and of late, it's been looking like a realistic goal. With the recent acquisition of Porsche and the topsy-turvy market that is 2009, Volkswagen has already beaten Toyota in total global output. Today VW officially added even more to its global empire with the acquisition of 19.9 percent of Suzuki.
VW also recently nabbed the Car of the Year award in Europe for the Polo small car, which will be headed to the U.S. soon, so getting a stake in Suzuki could position VW to help further expand its small-car reach. Suzuki is undeniably successful in the small-car arena with its Kei cars in Japan and similar small vehicles in India. Neverthelses, the 2010 Kizashi, which may be the company's best car ever, is a borderline compact/midsize sedan. Read up on the Kizashi with our review here.
The acquisition of a 19.9 percent interest in Suzuki opens the door to materials and parts sharing between the two companies, enabling VW to make small cars more cheaply and Suzuki to improving the quality and variety of its offerings, while potentially lowering the CO2 footprint of both carmakers.
Taken in light of VW's plans for expanding its global presence and market share, the partnership with Suzuki makes a lot of sense, as smaller cars will sell more quickly and more numerously in rapidly emerging Asian and Southern Hemisphere markets.