Talks between Daimler and Fiat on a possible platform-sharing venture have ended with no positive results. It seems that during the talks, Daimler found out that a platform-sharing cooperation with Fiat would not be as cost-advantageous as expected because Fiat produces its small models more expensively than Daimler can already do with its A-class (shown above) and B-class.
Daimler is still in talks with BMW as previously reported, and if that does not go through it will go ahead to develop new entry-level models on its own. Mercedes-Benz has a new cost saving program called CORE and the next generation A-class and B-class will be cheaper to make than the current generation even without the savings gained from platform-sharing. But of course, more savings would definitely be a bonus.
Mercedes Benz Cars wants to make a decision on whether to go for platform-sharing or develop on its own by the end of 2007. They are also talking to Japanese manufacturers about joint usage of 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines – this probably means the end of the M266.
MINI platform for next generation A-Class?