When East meets West, the result can be anything from delightful to disastrous. Or both. For example, the Volkswagen-Suzuki alliance, formed in December 2009 and in tatters less than two years later, may have been doomed from the beginning. “Both companies started the alliance with the emphasis that each would respect the other’s independence and, as it turned out, the interpretation of independence became an issue,” says Chris Richter, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets deputy head-Japan ...

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