Recently Sergio Marchionne, Fiat CEO, declared his interest in talking to Volvo who hunts for a partner in developing small cars.
Since Volvo has been sold to Chinese firm Geely, Ford has no longer long-term tie-up with the company. Volvo has developed a new range of four-cylinder engines and a scalable platform for mid-large sized cars, but a small car platform is absent from its armoury.
“We are open for partners,” Volvo’s chief executive Stefan Jacoby said in January. “We are open for collaboration in a win-win situation for sharing platforms, for sharing engines and for a general higher scale of economics.”
Although Marchionne has had talks with several Japanese companies, such as Mazda and Suzuki, regarding future alternative drivetrains, he took the decision to persist with improving internal combustion engine technology due to the high costs of new alternative technology.
“There’s still lots of unexplored technology with combustion,” he said. “Future drivetrains need to be cheaper and more cost effective. You just won’t sell any cars at that price in the B-segment.”
By the end of 2012 an all-electric version of the Fiat 500 will be launched, which pools in technology from a whole host of companies to remove the costly development away from Fiat.