Roughly six months ago BMW and Fiat signed a memorandum of understanding that seemed as if it would lead to key cooperation in both developing and selling new cars. In it Friedrich Eichiner (member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Corporate and Brand Development) said this:
“We are currently examining with the Fiat Group possibilities for the joint use of components and systems in MINI and Alfa Romeo vehicles in order to achieve economies of scale and thus cost reductions within the framework of our Strategy Number ONE”, Eichiner said in Munich.
Additionally Fiat and BMW were in talks to allow Fiat to share showroom space with MINIs in the USA thus giving Fiat a low-cost entry back into the US market.
The aim was to reach something official by the end of 2008. That didn ‘t happen and now it appears we know why. Today Fiat and Chrysler officially merged with Fiat taking on a 35% stake in the ailing US automaker. In regards to Fiat selling cars at MINI dealers, we now know that is off the table. However what we don ‘t know for certain is how this impacts the next generation MINI platform and the possible sharing of components (and potentially the entire platform) with Fiats and Alfas.
We ‘ll continue to follow this closely.
+ Fiat and Chrysler to Merge / Jalopnik