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Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a rear wheel driven roadster

By FaezClutchless on 29 May 2012

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Back in November last year, Alfa Romeo (which is under the Fiat Group) is challenging, particularly at the Mazda MX-5, the rear wheel drive roadster market segment with a new generation Spider. But now it seems that things are going to change. The MX-5 will receive a sibling but it will not be a Mazda.

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Mazda Motor Corporation and Fiat Group Automobiles have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and manufacturing of a new roadster for both companies’ marques based on the MX-5 rear wheel drive platform. Both vehicles will be built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in Japan with production of the Alfa Romeo version starting in 2015.

The project calls for both automakers to develop two different yet distinctively styled brand specific light weight rear wheel drive roadsters. The Mazda and Alfa Romeo versions will each feature different engines that is unique to each marque. The negotiations also include further cooperation between the two brands in Europe.

"Establishing technology and product development alliances is one of Mazda's corporate objectives and this announcement with Fiat is an important first step in that direction. It is especially exciting to be collaborating with such a prestigious marque as Alfa Romeo on a new roadster based on the next-generation MX-5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and recognised as the best-selling roadster of all time." said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO

"This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand. By partnering with Mazda, we will be co-operating with the recognised leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship." said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.

With the loss of the Brera GT and Spider in 2010, it is clear that Marchionne is searching for partnerships to increase Alfa Romeo’s scale and this might improve the marque’s presence in market segments in Asia.

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

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Ilmw May 30 2012 12:30 PM
This isn't "co-development" nor "collaboration". It is Alfa outsourcing to Mazda. Plain & simple.
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