Fiat boss Marchionne would welcome deal over Jag powertrains, platforms
17 December 2007

A deal between Fiat and the new owner of Jaguar and Land Rover – whose identity is likely to be known within days – could provide the key ingredient for a “stunning” rear-drive Alfa 169, according to Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s dynamic CEO.When Fiat considered buying the twin British prestige brands six months ago, Marchionne told journalists a major attraction was Jaguar’s powertrains and rear-drive platforms “which we would have used to make Alfa Romeo models with front longitudinal engines and rear-wheel-drive.” Land Rover’s US distribution network was another drawcard. However, Fiat’s management soon realized it would not be able to cope with Jaguar and Land Rover while it was also in the middle of relaunching its existing marques. But it remains open to future co-operation with the new owners, Marchionne stressed.“We have a stunning design for the 169, and we know how to build a rear-drive platform for it,” Marchionne explained. “But we would rather buy a suitable platform from one of our competitors to be more cost competitive. We have talks under way with different manufacturers, and I expect a final decision in January.”

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