Fiat-Suzuki partnership on the cards?

Fiat’s influential CEO Sergio Marchionne made a very interesting comment at the ongoing 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Mr Marchionne has reportedly remarked that Suzuki would make for an interesting partner in Asia for Fiat. This statement, comes at a time when Volkswagen and Suzuki seem to be heading towards what appears to be a definite splitsville after Volkswagen showed its displeasure over Suzuki signing a recent deal with Italian automaker Fiat, to borrow the latter’s range of small capacity diesel engine for Suzuki small car models.

Sergio Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne

So, a Fiat-Suzuki alliance might not be a far fetched idea in the near future considering the various synergies that the two car manufacturers enjoy. Both Fiat and Suzuki are predominantly small, budget car makers whose main focus is on fuel efficient mass market cars that are affordable. Also, Fiat is already in a deal with Suzuki for supplying the much acclaimed 1.3 Liter Multijet common rail diesel engine to Suzuki, for use in various Suzuki car models. Fiat is said to be developing a three cylinder 1 liter turbodiesel engine for use in Maruti Suzuki’s small cars.

Going forward, as emission norms tighten with fuel economy being increasingly the deciding factor for good car sales, Suzuki might require Fiat’s expertise in small capacity diesel engine technology. Fiat also has a few innovations in the engine department that could fit right into Suzuki’s portfolio. For instance, the 900cc, twin cylinder Multiair engine that Fiat has outfittedthe Fiat 500 with could be just the kind of engine Maruti Suzuki cars of the future might use for the superb combination of power, torque and fuel economy this engine offers.

So, the synergies between Fiat and Suzuki definitely do exist, unlike the Volkswagen-Suzuki alliance where there was always some lingering talk about Suzuki being interested in Volkswagen’s advanced hybrid and electric car technology while Volkswagen was said to be eyeing Suzuki’s biggest car market, India, to expand its footprint. If indeed Suzuki and Fiat get along to share more than just engine licensing, you know where you read about it first. Watch this space!

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