By Viknesh Vijayenthiran
Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) has made no secret of its desire to be the world's number one automaker, gobbling up smaller brands in its wake as it attempts to inorganically grow to rival the likes of General Motors and Toyota (NYSE:TM). The German auto giant is still finishing up its takeover of Porsche but already its chairman, Ferdinand Piech, is hinting about the company's next major acquisition.
In his sights is Japanese automaker Suzuki (SZMKF.PK), which could potentially give Volkswagen its first major foothold in the Asian market. Suzuki's 2.36 million global sales last year would boost Volkswagen's sales tally to a higher level than General Motors' figure and put it close behind Toyota.
While there's no official confirmation of any talks between the two companies, Piech has told German media that he was eyeing three more brands for the Volkswagen Group after Porsche. Asked whether one was Suzuki, Piech said only that he has great respect for the company -- and he complimented the Japanese automaker's technical prowess. Volkswagen's CEO Martin Winterkorn has also told Germany's Manager magazine that Suzuki would make a nice partner because of its expertise for small cars.
Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki, on the other hand, has denied that any talks with Volkswagen are taking place.