Suzuki’s been up to a lot lately. Here’s a quick rundown of the company’s weekend moves.
First up, the fun stuff: Remember Suzuki’s Baby B-King we told you about last winter? Well, it’s moved one step closer to North America.
At first, Suzuki was simply selling the machine – called the Inazuma – in Asia, but now it’s going to be offered in Europe, at a lower price than the quarter-litre Ninja or CBR. Let’s hope they make the jump across the pond with this bike – with 250cc machines back in style, it could have a much better reception here in North America than it could have expected a few years ago.
Next up – did you know that Suzuki was in a partnership with VW? We’re pretty sure this had more to do with the automobile side of the business, but Volkswagen has been teasing the public with pictures of two-wheeled ventures this year, so who’s to know what the intentions were?
That’s all ancient history now, though – it’s Splitsville for the two companies. Don’t just take our word, though, read what Suzuki chairman and CEO Osamu Suzuki had to say about the acrimonious breakup.
“Today Suzuki terminated the partnership with VW. Suzuki will be seeking the return of its shares from VW in arbitration. I am disappointed that we have to take this action but VW’s actions have left us no choice. They have continued to refuse our attempts on numerous occasions to resolve these issues through negotiation. I am more disappointed that having shaken the hand of Dr. Winterkorn in agreeing to this partnership, he has not honoured his commitment to grant Suzuki access to what was originally agreed. In the absence of VW’s cooperation and given its failure to do what was agreed, there is no basis for the partnership to continue. With the cessation of the partnership there is also no basis for VW to hold on to Suzuki’s shares. We will now work to restore the relationship between Suzuki and VW to its original state as independent parties who do not restrict each other’s business. I call on Dr. Winterkorn to honour this.”
Ouch! Doesn’t sound like either party is thinking about rekindling that romance …
Finally, remember how we’ve been telling you that Suzuki is leaving MotoGP? Well, the official word came down on the weekend – Suzuki will continue to sponsor motocross and production-based roadracing efforts, but they’re out of MotoGP for now, at least until 2014.