Fiat may expand partnership with Mazda and seek alliance with other carmakers

Article by Anita Panait, on May 28, 2012

Italian automaker Fiat SpA is open to the possibility of expanding its recently announced alliance with Japanese car manufacturer Mazda, according to the company’s chief executive, Sergio Marchionne. Marchionne likewise said that Fiat could manufacture Mazda’s vehicles at the company and Chrysler Group’s plants around the world.

Fiat’s chief executive said that additional partnerships would allow the company to lower its costs as well as expand its global reach. Marchionne remarked that they will continue to look at other bilateral arrangements. Fiat and Mazda announced Wednesday that they have signed an agreement to jointly develop the next generation of Alfa Romeo Spider and Miata/MX-5 roadsters using a shared Mazda platform.

Although the joint venture does not involve equity sharing, it is expected to help Fiat and Mazda reduce costs. Fiat is not new in such alliances. The Italian carmaker currently assembles the Ford Ka minicar in Poland, alongside its Fiat 500 model.

On the other hand, Suzuki builds the Fiat Sedici small crossover in Hungary, with the two companies sharing investment costs of around EUR1 billion needed to develop a new car. Marchionne explained the notion behind partnerships: “economics make it very difficult” for many carmakers automakers produce all their own platforms and powertrains. Since building their own platforms and powertrains would cost a lot of money, many companies opt to share technologies with other carmakers.

Topics: fiat, mazda, partnership

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