Fiat not planning to purchase a stake in Mazda

Article by Christian A., on May 30, 2012

Fiat doesn’t have any plans to purchase a Mazda stake, according to Fiat Chairman John Elkann. Instead, Fiat will proceed with plans to raise its stake in Chrysler Group to more than 60%. Elkann made this statement at the annual shareholder meeting of Exor, the Agnelli family's investment company through which Fiat and Chrysler are controlled.

Last week, Mazda and Fiat announced that they will team up to create new variants of the most popular sports cars: the MX-5 and the Alfa Romeo Spider. This action led to speculations that the partnership will be expanded over time. However, both of them downplayed the likelihood of an equity alliance. Alliances enable automakers to share the costs related to the development of new vehicles.

It also helps in making the pricing competitive and in aiding them to gain a foothold in new regions. However, this could lead to problems. Fiat, which holds 58.5% in Chrysler, is planning to purchase 3% more stake beginning in July. It is likely to accomplish its global turnaround by getting an Asian partner even after having a difficult history with previous Chinese partners.

Eventually, Fiat will raise its Chrysler stake to 100%. On Tuesday, Elkann declined to explain the move’s timing. When asked if Exor was making contingency plans for a future exit of Greece from the euro zone, Elkann said that that the strategy of the holding company hasn’t changed. Exor has 30.4% of capital goods group Fiat Industrial. Furthermore, it holds 15% of certification company SGS, 30.5% of Fiat, which controls Chrysler, and 69.5% of Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate company.

The restyled MX-5 is more enjoyable to drive than ever before. The global roadster best seller’s latest iteration features not only acceleration and braking that responds better, but also a strong design for the front-end as well as increased safety for pedestrians.

Mazda's technologists perfected the manual transmission programme to manage acceleration, and improve control and the throttle input’s linear response, particularly at low speeds. The optimisation of the vacuum brake booster also enhanced brake control. The benefit is improved handling due to outstanding load distribution in the front and back. Drivers will welcome these advances most when braking into or accelerating out of curves. The Mazda MX-5 that had always handled winding roads excellently and now responds even better.

Pedestrian injuries prevented

The newly designed Mazda MX-5 is leading the pack in other ways as well. The new active bonnet system raises the hood automatically if it hits a pedestrian, so that the crumple zone enlarges, preventing, or at least diminishing, injury severity, especially head injuries. The front bumper’s lower section is reinforced to protect pedestrians’ legs better. The MX-5 is now set to meet the heightened EU pedestrian safety standards.

To add these safety aspects, designers also re-engineered this classic two-seater’s front end. The stronger grille and newly designed bumper has a wider and lower stance and a more forceful face, and the new fog light bezels and chin spoiler create better aerodynamics. For both the retractable hardtop coupe or traditional soft-top convertible, the new Mazda MX-5 is available in eight colours, including one new striking option: Dolphin Grey. The interior boasts gloss dark grey steering wheel spokes and a panelled decor reflects an elegant sporty look.

Topics: fiat, mazda

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