If there’s an auto show known for fostering quirky concepts, it’s the Tokyo Motor Show. Japan’s own Suzuki showed off three concepts that just wouldn’t be at home anywhere else.
We haven’t discussed Suzuki much recently, and a lot has been happening as the company tries to make a name for itself outside the umbrella of Volkswagen. Two years ago, the companies formed a partnership with the intent of sharing technologies. To make a long story short, Suzuki doesn’t feel it’s getting the benefit it was promised and wants out. According to Bloomberg,
Each company has accused the other of breaching the cooperation agreement, which was meant to supply Suzuki with technology and provide VW with access to the Indian car market. The carmakers have been at odds since VW described Suzuki as an “associate” in its 2010 annual report. Suzuki said on Nov. 18 it had terminated the partnership with the Wolfsburg, Germany- based automaker, which failed to yield a single joint project.
An arbitration process has started, which could take two years to complete. On top of that, Suzuki’s November sales in the U.S. are down 22 percent from last year. Though it offers two solid, well-reviewed cars (the SX4 and Kizashi), Suzuki suffers here from too few dealers and stiff competition.
Two of the concepts in Tokyo probably wouldn’t do much to turn things around here. One might have a chance, if it were to ever enter production.