The ties between Tata Motors and Fiat are plentiful; Ratan Tata sits on Fiat's board, and the two firms run several joint manufacturing ventures in India. And with Tata's recent purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover comes an opportunity for Fiat's performance brand Alfa Romeo to piggyback on Jaguar's existing rear wheel-drive sedan architecture. Fiat development boss Harald Wester tells Auto Motor und Sport that the two firms are already discussing details of the possible platform share. "We have diverse worldwide cooperations with Tata," said Wester, "because of this, it makes sense for us to seek opportunities with Jaguar and Land Rover. Naturally, a properly-dimensioned rear-wheel drive platform would serve Alfa well, and we're working on that. But there are more options. One alternative is developing a unique platform for Maserati, Alfa and Lancia. Another is that Maserati would get a unique platform, while the other two brands would share with a partner (Jaguar)." A Jaguar XF in a sharp Italian suit with Alfa badges could be exactly what the brand needs when it launches stateside in 2010, while platform-sharing would help Jaguar improve its profitability.
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