Alfa Romeo was supposed to receive a roadster from Mazda at the start of 2015; but the chief executive of parent Fiat thinks otherwise. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told the Financial Times in September 2013 they would not build Alfa models outside of Italy as long as he holds the top position, which lasts until at least 2017. Marchionne repeated his statement at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
He remarked that further details about future Fiat Group products would be revealed in early May. Fiat and Mazda product planners are intending to meet soon to talk about the potential badge change for the MX-5-based two-seat car, the sources said, adding that the Italian carmaker’s product planners are looking for ways to fulfill the terms of their supply contract with the Japanese group since walking away from the deal would be extremely costly.
The question now is which brand would receive the roadster from Mazda. Fiat's near-premium brand Lancia could not be considered as Marchionne has already elected to reduce the marque to a one-model brand, the Ypsilon.
Lancia will be discontinued outside Italy starting this year. Supercar brands Ferrari and Maserati aren’t likely to get the 1.4-liter turbo-gasoline roadster since it would be too small and underpowered for them. In the end, only the Fiat brand and the Abarth performance subbrand may get the roadster.