Fiat and BMW have announced that they plan to collaborate on a common platform to build the next generation Fiat Grande Punto, the second generation Alfa Romeo Mi.To and third generation MINI on.
BMW has been looking for a JV partner for its MINI platform for quite some time now in the search for higher economies of scale. The MINI already shares engines with another European company – PSA Peugeot Citroen. The MINI’s 1.6 litre Prince engine is also found in PSA cars like the Peugeot 308.
BMW had been in talks with Mercedes-Benz in the past to increase their JV activities including exploring the idea that the next gen MINI and A-Class could share the same underpinings, but its rival had rejected the idea of any further joint projects beyond the current hybrid system JV.
The fact that BMW and Fiat is tying up for platform sharing is quite funny really as Fiat had also been in talks with Daimler in the past and talks progressed further than any talks Daimler had with BMW, but in the end Daimler decided to go ahead and build the next generation A-Class on its own rather than share platforms with anyone as it had sufficiently cut costs through its CORE initiative. To make it simple, A and B were both going after C, but A and B ended up getting together instead.
BMW and Fiat are also considering developing a new family of gasoline and diesel engines together. This should be the successor to the Prince family.
More details will be revealed by the end of 2008.