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Volkswagen – Europe’s largest automaker — is said to be considering a tie-up with Japan’s Suzuki to gain access to the automaker’s small car know how. Suzuki’s small car experience has vaulted the comparably small automaker to become the number two selling marque in Japan, trailing only Toyota.

A source familiar with the situation revealed the possible tie-up to Reuters on Thursday. VW is reportedly mulling a 10 percent stake in Suzuki, a figure that would good enough to give it access to the Japanese automaker’s small car expertise.

Suzuki has seen tremendous success – particularly in emerging markets — in the 660cc and smaller car segments. In addition to climbing to number two in the Japanese market, Suzuki stakes claim to the best-selling car in India – the Alto.

The tie-up may seem at odds with VW’s plan to launch the Up city car in the next few years, but the Suzuki-sourced cars would actually slot below the Up. It remains unclear which global markets VW has in mind for the small cars, but China – where VW is currently battling with General Motors for the number one spot – seems like a distinct possibility.

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