TOKYO — Mazda Motor Corp and Fiat SpA will join forces to make new versions of their most famous sports cars, the MX-5 and the Alfa Romeo Spider, helping the two companies cut costs and possibly paving the way for a deeper alliance.
A joint venture announced on Wednesday will not include any equity tie-up but joins a long line of partnerships which carmakers have forged, aiming to share research and development costs and keep prices competitive in a tough market.
The new cars will be based on a Mazda rear-wheel drive platform and will be built at Mazda’s factory in Hiroshima, Japan.
The Alfa Spider, famed for its starring role in 1967 movie The Graduate, will be made from 2015 and will be styled separately by the Italian company, so the engine and look will be Alfa Romeo rather than Mazda.
Alfa Romeo pulled out of the United States in 1995 and is already set to return in late 2013 with the planned 4C sportscar.
Some analysts expect the revamped Spider to boost Alfa in the world’s biggest two-seater sports car market and saw sales of around 20,000 a year.
Mazda’s MX-5, launched in 1989, is the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history, with more than 900,000 sold, according to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011.
But Japan’s fifth-largest car maker is looking lonely on the global car alliance scene.
Ford owned a third of Mazda’s shares under a 31-year alliance, but had to sell most of its stake to raise cash and now owns just 2 per cent, leaving the Japanese company to link up with several rivals in joint ventures.
Cost savings from such deals have not been enough to save Mazda from posting four years of losses, as it struggles with a strong yen, which makes its cars less competitive overseas.
It builds most of its cars in Japan and exports almost 80 per cent of them.
Columns & Advice
Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X