Although news articles on the topic are fairly thin, it seems almost inevitable that Mazda and Fiat will continue doing business together, with the next step involving Mazdas built at Fiat/Chrysler plants.
Articles in Automotive News and Just-Auto have quotes from Sergio Marchionne expounding on his openness to alliances and the “difficult economics” of creating new platforms and engines independently. Our sources indicate that further collaboration between Fiat and Mazda are going to happen.
Mazda needs to form an alliance with someone or risk perishing. Fiat and Chrysler plants have excess capacity, and Mazda is facing a big problem with a strong yen impacting their exports. Their new factory in Mexico can’t come soon enough, and North American built Mazdas would be a lifeline of sorts for the company.
The deeper business synergies between Mazda and Fiat are somewhat obscure, but from a strictly product-focused standpoint, the two companies seem to share an ethos for more compact, fun-to-drive cars. Mazda manages to stretch few resources into some compelling products and technologies, and a Fiat tie-up could ease some of the burden of being an independent automaker, while passing some lessons of their own back to Turin and Detroit.