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Suzuki may refuse if Volkswagen wants bigger stake

Suzuki Motor Corp CEO Osamu Suzuki said he would probably refuse any approach by German carmaker Volkswagen for a bigger stake in his company.

“When Suzuki becomes a bigger and more successful company, Volkswagen will probably want to buy more of our shares,” Suzuki told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

“If that happens, Suzuki will probably respond by saying, 'Let's continue as we are',” he said.

Many industry watchers expect Volkswagen, Europe's top automaker, to eventually plan to amass a controlling or majority stake in Suzuki as it aims to topple Toyota Motor Corp as the world's biggest carmaker by 2018.

Suzuki has said he does not want the company founded by his wife's grandfather to become a 12th Volkswagen brand, and that he considered the comprehensive equity alliance completed this month to be one between “equal partners”.

“If we fight over the size of the stake, it would do no good for either Volkswagen or Suzuki, so I don't expect there to be an altercation over this,” he said. (Reuters)