The push to partner up continues to sweep through the global auto industry, Mazda and Fiat signing a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding that will let them share in the development and production of an all-new roadster.
The MOU means Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand will get its own 2-seater based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 Miata rear-wheel-drive architecture. In a jointly released statement, the two manufacturers said the project is aimed at developing “two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive. The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.”
The news from Fiat and Mazda underscores a dramatic shift in the global auto industry, even the largest and most well-funded manufacturers, such as the Renault/Nissan Alliance and Daimler AG, looking for joint opportunities to expand their product lines and improve economies of scale. The timing also coincides with the launch of new sports coupes developed through a partnership between Toyota and Subaru.