Mazda bringing out new generation MX5 in 2015

And Alfa Romeo will bring a new spider to the USA the same model year. No, it isn’t a coincidence. Fiat and Mazda will team up to build similar cars at a Mazda plant in Japan. They will use different drive trains and suspensions, but much of the rest of the cars will be the same. These partnerships just keep growing. Any comments?

So you’re saying the new Miata will have plenty of panache and character along with an astounding lack of reliability? Sounds just like a 40 year old Triumph or MG.

I think Alfa is looking to Mazda for help, it’ll be mostly Mazda under the skin I think.

Yes, just like the Ford Probe was mostly Mazda with a different body, I would expect this to be the most reliable Alfa Romeo ever made!!

The article said that Mazda was building the cars and that Fiat would provide the engine for the Alfa. It seems a lot like GM and Toyota at NUMMI in Compton, CA where they built the Matrix and Vibe. Toyota know how to build small cars and GM wanted to learn how. GM had a plant in Cali that could save Toyota a lot of money compared to a greenfield site. Especially when GM was splitting expenses. And the pictures of the MX5 looked great next to the Alfa Romeo. I think most people will be drawn to the Mazda. Alfisti, if there are any left, will want the Alfa as will people that want a rarer car.

On Top Gear tonight they were discussing this car and they were excited about the car as long as Mazda does the actual assembly since when the last joint venture between Alfa and Nissan produced a pretty poor car. The MX5 has been known for being very reliable as well as a lot of fun to drive. The people who want an Alfa won’t be as interested in a MX5 as long as Alfa actually returns to the USA (the 8c being the only recent Alfa badged car in the US)

It’s all a big pot of stew anymore.

The plus to the Mazda end of things is that any dealer network for parts and warranty issues will be better.

Depends on if Fiat/Dodge dealerships or Ferrari/Maserati dealerships end up selling the car but it’s often easier around here to find the nearest Mazda dealer than the others

I suspect it will be Fiat dealers (or some subset) . The Ferrari and Maserati dealers are way too snooty to sell anything based on a Miata. Alfa wanted a classic roadster and Fiat didn’t have an appropriate rwd platform. Mazda needs partners since their divorce from Ford. This is a good deal for both parties. If Mazda is lucky it won’t be the last, but there aren’t many obvious joint products. Fiat can get any suvs it needs from Jeep/Chrysler, and share their small car expertise (as in the just OK Dart).

I agree that Alfa will likely show up at Chrysler/Fiat dealers. Unless the Alfa Romeo version costs far north of $50K, it would be out of place with Maseratis and especially Ferraris. And such a price would be out of place on an MX5, no matter what Alfa upgrades they put on it.

Sometimes high end dealers will take on a lower end car as an enticement to get traffic onto the lot.
Once there the person wanting to look at that 25k dollar car is steered towards one that is double that, although I would think Alfa and Ferrari/Maserati would be a stretch. You never know.

A former Lincoln/BMW/Rolls Royce dealer here in OK took on a Subaru franchise and Subarus were used as fish bait… :wink:

The latest reports were that Fiat franchises would likely get the Alfa franchise as well, when they only offered the 8C for six figures it was through Ferrari/Maserati dealers.

Ferrari almost always has long waiting lists. Most of their customers already own Ferraris and are known to them. Some of the limited production models have only been offered to people who’ve bought several new Ferraris in the past.

One of the stranger enticements was the Aston Martin Cygnet, a Scion/Toyota IQ with an Aston nose (surprisingly good looking) and custom interior. It was only sold to people who bought their other models, seemingly as a bauble for your wife or maybe for leaving at your London flat for when you flew in to go to the theatre. It was cute, but ludicrously overpriced and the IQ is seriously cramped.

The Aston Cygnet was developed as part of a scheme to get Aston’s average MPG up, Not really desired by most Aston Martin owners.

That was speculated, but I read another discussion that said the CAFE numbers for Aston were not meaningfully affected by the Cygnet, nor could have been unless it sold in large numbers. A handful of Cygnets did next to nothing. Kind of cute, as it turned, but the IQ is seriously cramped.