In a recently signed non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A and Mazda Motor Corporation, they have agreed to develop a new roadster for for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture. Although the two brands will develop their roadster based on the same platform, but the two cars will be quite different and distinctly styled as per the brand-specific requirements if each of these roadsters. Not only the styling will be different, the engine and powertrain of the two cars will also be different from each other by their own respective brands. While the two will benefit from the sharing of the same platform, they both will develop their own unique products with independence with unique characteristics.
Both these roadsters will be made at the same manufacturing unit at Hiroshima plant of Mazda by 2015. There will be a final agreement on the details and other intricacies of the joint cooperation expected to be signed by second half of 2012.
Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda’s Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO quoted:
“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 recognized as the best-selling roadster of all time.”
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne quoted:
“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 recognized 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.”