The deal, similar to that which developed the Citroen C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo, will result in two new cars – the next generation Ford Ka and the Fiat 500, previewed as a concept car at several motor shows as the Trepuino (pictured). They will be built at Fiat’s Polish factory and will be on sale in late 2007.
And both cars will be based on Fiat’s acclaimed Panda platform, although the models will differ in terms of interior and exterior styling.
They will share Fiat-developed engines.
The advantages of the deal are obvious – cheaper labour rates to build the cars in Poland, shared components and hugely reduced research and development costs between the companies. Fiat’s renowned expertise in the small car sector will have been a key factor for Ford too.
These elements will allow both companies to offer the cars at low prices. Fiat’s Tychy plant in Poland will build 240,000 units annually, divided equally between Fiat and Ford, for the European market.