"We highly value our strategic relationship with Suzuki," said GM Chairman-CEO Rick Wagoner in a statement. "Despite the sale of our remaining Suzuki shares, this action will have no impact on our existing bilateral business relationships. We look forward to continue building on our success to date with our long-term partner."
GM said it has a mutual agreement with Suzuki to maintain and expand their business relationship, including promoting and implementing existing projects. That ongoing relationship, GM announced, will include co-developing advanced technologies such as hybrids and fuel cells; joint operation of their manufacturing venture in Canada; collaboration on the development of powertrains; joint global-purchasing activities; and collaboration on entries in new emerging markets.
GM first acquired a stake in Suzuki in 1981, when it bought 5.3% of its outstanding shares. Although the automaker's investment was diluted to 3.5% in later years, in 1998 GM increased its investment to 10%, and to just more than 20% in 2001. In 2006, GM sold a 17.4 % stake in Suzuki.