We told you about the rumors regarding the Fiat Group having second thoughts on placing an Alfa Romeo badge on the roadster that Fiat and Mazda are jointly developing, with Mazda’s version to be badged as the next-generation MX-5. Now, we have the official word on the matter from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne.
“The brand that we use will be chosen in due time. I don’t believe there was an irrevocable obligation to use an Alfa architecture,” Marchionne said at a press conference at the Geneva auto show. “Maybe we will, maybe we won’t. The important thing is that industrially the project is moving forward,” the executive added.
This latest statement seems to support an earlier declaration from September 2013, when Marchionne said there won’t be any Alfa Romeos built outside of Italy as long as he is boss.
Under the initial January 2013 announcement, the Alfa Romeo roadster was supposed to be built together with the next-gen MX-5 at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan, with each car to sport different styling and engines. However, a report from Automotive News Europe said Fiat may consider giving the roadster to the Fiat brand or Abarth performance sub-brand.
Despite uncertainty regarding the brand Fiat will choose to put on the roadster, Marchionne said the Italian carmaker will go forward with the project and that it is currently in discussions with Mazda. “We remain committed to using that architecture with our powertrains,” the executive said.
By Dan Mihalascu
Note: Older Alfa Spider shown above, 2010 Pininfarina Alfa Romeo 2ueottanta Concept and MX-5 test-mule pictured below