It’s been our long standing view that Volkswagen entering into the motorcycle realm after it’s 20% stake in Suzuki is purely a work of fiction fabricated by bored journalists. The majority opinion is that Volkswagen acquired an interest in Suzuki (who also makes cars) to gain a better foothold in developing countries where smaller vehicles with smaller displacements are king.
This sentiment hasn’t stopped others from believing that there could be more collaboration between the two marks in making a two-wheeled vehicle, and the latest rumor pegs Volkswagen’s Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Director of Management of Volkswagen AG, as saying explicitly saying just that…of course, no one actually has him on the record with that statement.
Once again heralding from the Italian media, there are several publications stating that Winterkorn has expressed Volkswagen’s direct interest in either developing its own motorcycle, presumably with the help of Suzuki, or getting involved with the Japanese company’s motorcycle division in some form or another.
The kicker to this rumor is the glaring fact that each telling of the story omits any sort of actual quote from Winterkorn, choosing instead to paraphrase him. A fine and subtle detail, but it has significant journalistic and legal ramifications. A rumor is just a rumor, but a made up quote…now that’s libel. Our reply? Habeas corpus.