Frankfurt, September 11 - Work is going well on the Fiat-Mazda collaboration project that will see a new Alfa Romeo Spider built on the platform of Mazda's MX-5, a spokesman for the Japanese automaker said Wednesday. The project "is progressing well and without any problems," Wojciech Halarewicz, vice president of communications for Mazda Europe, said in an interview with ANSA at the Frankfurt motor show. But he said that Mazda has no interest in using Fiat sites for its own European production in the future. And he wouldn't comment on the new vehicles' sales timetable. "We know when the new car will be ready, but we prefer not to mention time," said Halarewicz. "For now, we want to focus on...the launch and in this, we are totally independent of Fiat". The collaboration between the two automakers does not extend to marketing, he pointed out. In May 2012, Fiat and Mazda announced plans to join forces to produce a new generation two-seater sports car and agreed to explore possible further collaboration in Europe. The new car would be based on the platform of Mazda's MX-5 model, the best-selling lightweight sports car of all time, and each company would supply its own engines. Both versions were to be produced at Mazda's plant in Hiroshima, starting in 2015. Each car would also have its own distinct design under the agreement. For Fiat, that means producing its vehicle under the Alfa Romeo marque, which is expected to spearhead Alfa Romeo's return to the American market, where its most successful car was its two-seat roadster made famous by its use in the 1967 film The Graduate.
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di Giovanni Pastore