TOKYO -- Suzuki's latest broadside against estranged partner Volkswagen AG smacked of reality sinking in. A month after saying it doesn't need the German company's help, Suzuki had changed its tune: Give us your technology, and maybe we can salvage things.
For Suzuki Motor Corp. it was a grudging admission of its crucial Achilles heel: a dearth of the environmentally friendly drivetrains that global automakers increasingly need to survive.
Hope for a Suzuki revival in the United States, where the small-car specialist has floundered in a big-car market, could be undermined by a failure to secure a lifeline to those technologies.
If Suzuki and VW get divorced, it could be Suzuki scrambling to make it on its own. Finding a new partner after the headlined acrimony with VW could be difficult.
"What if they do need to partner with someone in the future?" says Chris Richter, an auto analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. "They are basically identifying themselves in the global auto space as the partner nobody wants to have. I do think they are making a mistake."