Mazda and Fiat Consider More Joint Ventures image

Mazda and Fiat are considering other possible joint ventures, as they work to finalize their agreement to manufacture roadsters together.

Takashi Yamanouchi, CEO of Mazda Motor Corp., said that the automaker is already making a list with possible vehicle projects, but didn’t offer any information on the segments which are under consideration. At the Paris Auto Show in September, Yamanouchi said that Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was willing to expand their partnership, under which the two automakers manufacture roadsters to be the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata and Alfa Romeo Spider. But Mazda said this plan was unlikely as the company wants to remain independent.

“The engineers at both companies are meeting with each other, and we can have a mutual better understanding of each company, which can then open up new possibilities,” Yamanouchi said.

Until the agreement expires, the deal to manufacture roadsters is governed by a memorandum of understanding. Fiat’s wants the vehicles to be manufactured in Europe, where Fiat’s plants currently operate at low levels. Mazda said it considering this proposal, but expressed its concerns regarding the viability of such a project.

“I conjecture that they’re perhaps looking for some kind of cooperation to assist them with that,” he said. “It’s a matter of production volume. But it also involves double tooling, so I don’t know if it’s something that would be viable or not.”