A Scion based on the Mazda2, a Fiat Chrysler convertible based on the MX-5 Miata, the Infiniti QX30 crossover using a Mercedes-Benz platform or a C-Class with a Nissan engine. And the examples could go on.
So, in a broad sense, FCA chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne drive to unite the automotive industry is already well under way – it could take hours just to present all the alliances between traditional rivals – even as the convoluted auto industry is more competitive by the year. In the hopes that they can expand lineups to address all consumer needs, traditional rivals are working together to drive down the costs of research, development and manufacturing. “No matter what the price point of a vehicle today you have to order an extraordinarily broad suite of infotainment and safety features. And you have to come up with new powertrains and lightweight materials to meet new fuel economy regulations,” comments analyst Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting. This is why partnerships make sense – particularly on affordable models that don’t have a large profit base.
That doesn’t mean the alliances are limited at the bottom offerings – because while they might be very sound when talking about the PSA – Toyota 108, C1 and Aygo trio for example, they are also fully applicable when it comes to luxury partnerships. The best example – the broadening alliance between Renault Nissan and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, which goes up to the Infiniti brand. And the partnerships extend to the very expensive futuristic alternative power sources – for example Toyota and Ford are working together in the segment of fuel cell cars.