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Mazda and Fiat join forces to create new roadster

2009 Mazda MX-5

It has been recently announced that the Mazda Motor Corporation and Fiat Group will be joining forces to develop and build a new roadster meant for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo brands.

It is expected that the Alfa Romeo version of the roadster will be launched on the global markets starting in 2015; the United States will know it as the Alfa Spider.

The car will be manufactured at the Mazda factory in Hiroshima and is considered to be the successor to the MX-5 Miata roadster which featured a rear-wheel-drive.

The details of the understanding between the two companies are expected to be finalized in the second half of 2012, it is worthy to note that the deal does not include a capital tie-up as well.

Engineers from both car makers are doing their best to cooperate on a joint vehicle that is meant to be ‘iconic’ while also being a performance-focused lightweight, rear-drive roadster with a different design for each brand. However both the designs will be based around the MX-5 architecture.

The European market is also on the negotiation block for the two companies, discussion being under way to expand overseas sales channels.

This is part of Mazda’s stated corporate objectives to establish technology and product development alliances in the near future, and the collaboration with Fiat is just the first step on this path.

The MX-5 was declared to be the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history, by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000, the MX-5 having been debuted back in 1989.

The agreement is seen to be mutually beneficial; Mazda is trying to end losses and Fiat wants to gain access to Mazda’s engine and lightweight technology.

It’s been a rough couple years for Mazda, facing its fourth consecutive year of losses, it is hoped that OEM deals like the one with Fiat can improve the efficiency of their factories and lower production costs.

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