Don’t mention the war, Basil!
The Germans and Italians look like they’re getting in bed together again, but this time the axis could provide some goodies for us all, and some cost saving benefits for both BMW and Fiat.
Fiat, in a strong position after posting their best ever figures for 2008, is on a bit of a rampage at the moment, looking to take advantage of the problems in the car industry that could end up pushing them up the car makers league table, even to the heights of the #1 car maker in the world, Toyota.
Having just signed a deal to take a 35% stake in Chrysler, and rumoured to be close to a deal to merge/takeover Peugeot/Citroen, the Italian company now looks set to announce a deal with BMW.
The BMW deal first surfaced back in July, but the deal seems to be real now, and involves vehicle platforms and engines. Fiat seems to be after BMW’s small 4-pot diesels for Alfa Romeo, and BMW fancies Fiat’s C-Evo platform that is being developed for the forthcoming Alfa 147 replacement. Plans also seem to be afoot to co-develop a new platform that could be used on the next Grand Punto, an Alfa or two and the next generation BMW 1 Series.
But we think there is more going on. Fiat is known to want to revive the Topolino moniker to use on a range of minicars, either electric or hybrid, aiming for a 100mpg city car. And BMW have a similar option, with the revival of the Isetta brand, which is where the company originally made its name (and for those of you too young to know, they were 3-wheel bubble cars – how things have changed). So a shared development of a new platform for these super-eco minicars would be an obvious route to go.
We’ll wait for more details.
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