Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A (Fiat) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) have together signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under which the companies will work together to manufacture a new roadster for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo marques based on Mazda MX-5 chassis. Fiat and Mazda will develop two different, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific roadster which will have low-weight characteristics with rear-wheel drive. According to the signed agreement, vehicles will be manufactured at Mazda's Hiroshima, Japan with future plans for Alfa Romeo production starting from 2015.
“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.” 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 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.” said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. The final agreement will be signed somewhere during the second-half of this year.