BERLIN, Sept 19, 2009 (AFP) - Europe's biggest car marker Volkswagen could become a shareholder of its Japanese competitor Suzuki before the end of the year, according to the German auto industry magazine Automobilwoche.
The negotiations are at an "advanced" stage and "we expect to reach an agreement in principle this year," the magazine cited a high-level Suzuki executive attending the Frankfurt auto show as saying.
"For Suzuki and VW, it would be a win-win situation. Suzuki would have access to a major number of Volkwagen technologies, while Volkswagen would gain a strong entry way into the Indian and southeast Asian markets," the Suzuki executive told the magazine in its edition to appear Sunday.
A souce close to the VW board also told the industry magazine that "if we reach an agreement, we could learn a lot from Suzuki".
In late June, the Manager Magazine had raised the possibility that VW could take around a 10 percent stake in Suzuki.
Last week the iconic head of Volkswagen's supervisory board, Ferdinand Piech, said he thought the car maker should have two more brands.
"Twelve is a good number," Piech told media during an event organised by VW ahead of the 63rd Frankfurt auto show which opened Thursday and runs through September 27.
Piech has expressed admiration in the past for cars built by Suzuki, and late last month said VW was considering a cooperation agreement with the Japanese company in the field of city vehicles.