Mazda and Alfa Romeo have announced Wednesday they have signed an “intention” agreement to share a platform for their next MX-5 and Spyder, both with rear wheel drive. The press release indicates that by the year 2015, Mazda Hiroshima’s factory would be ready to start exporting both cars while both companies could be sharing costs of development and production. It is well known that Mazda, as indepent car group, is facing financial problems and needs urgent help from other car manufacturers to develop its future platforms. On the other hand, Mr. Marchionne from Fiat has said Fiat needs an Asian partner to become more global or at least to share costs for the development of future models. As Alfa Romeo needs urgently a small and sportive car, and Mazda has been doing it pretty good with its successful MX-5, both companies could join forces to get the next generation of both models. Of course, engines and final design should be indepent as most of production of this new Alfa is suposed to go to America, where this kind of cars is more popular (C Sport segment sold 5.674 cars in 2011, while D Sport one sold 225.939 units). A good start for a possible future alliance.
Sounds very interesting 🙂
Mazda surely has a good quality reputation.
Maybe they will share also a C segment car (a Giulietta-Delta-Mazda3 and, if they don’t produce it in China as a Viaggio hatchback, Bravo). They might build it in Cassino to increase italian production and export (yes, Im still talking about Fabbrica Italia). And I’m not sure, but that could be good for Mazda as well since their car are pretty popular in Israel. Furthermore local production might help them struggle in the Euro C segment.
Yes. Mazda has a good reputation but low sales numbers. It is quite popular in Japan, Australia, Israel, Thailand, Colombia, and some how in Canada and the US. Nevertheless this first agreement could be the first step for future projects together, and as you say, C-segment is a good thing to think about, always keeping in mind Italian production. But personally I am not sure Mazda is the best candidate for Fiat. I prefer Suzuki.
I see.. Then Fiat could have a threesome with both Mazda and Suzuki 🙂
Eheh talking seriously, Suzuki is a much bigger company and dominates a hugely important market (India, where sales keep increasing), but I think a partnership with Mazda would improve Fiat cars quality (maybe very light vehicles, instead of hybrid) helping Fiat challenge the french and the germans in Europe
I agree: an agreement with Mazda would bring more quality perception to Fiat cars. In that case, I would like a marriage with them, or maybe, why not, a threesome with Suzuki.
Why on earth would Alfa Romeo urgently need another small and sporty car? We should not forget that none of the coupé and convertible models of Alfa build in the past ten years (GTV & Spider, GT, Brera & Spider…) have reached their sales targets, let alone been a success for the company! In addition, they have already been working for months on another small roadster (the one presented as 4C) even though this project is likely to be cancelled now…
I seriously believe that Alfa has better things to do than just fool around building sports cars of doubtable quality and zero potential… If they are not able to make a success out of a brand new, high technology premium hatchback in the C-segment (with the Giulietta losing sales rapidly in only its second year on the market…) and as long as their B-segment offer sells barely 30.000 units a year, there is absolutely no place for “fun” in the model line-up, in my opinion! (Even though these last two examples rather show a complete lack of potential for the entire Alfa Romeo brand…)
You are right: a small sporty car as a Spyder would not bring big numbers to Alfa’s sales. But a kind of product like this would bring something they need: marketing. It would be a car that would open markets not with units sold but with social impact. People talk more about Ferraris than Renaults, but Renault sells much more per year. In the case of Alfa, they need both: volume and impact. And remember, Alfa Romeo’s core business is sportiness and they have to respect that with real sportive cars such as 4C and future Spyder. Meanwhile they must work on better common cars if they want to survive
I totally agree with you. This model, even dough not so big in numbers, will be very important for reputation and to come back, for instance, in the US.
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