BMW and Fiat have signed a memorandum of understanding to co-develop the next-generation platform underpinning three different small cars — the Mini, the Alfa Romeo Mi.To, and the Fiat Grande Punto (which is desperately in need of help based on our experience). To borrow a phrase, the auto industry works in mysterious ways.

It's not that BMW needs help on the engineering front, but by partnering up, the companies gain economies of scale they'll be able to leverage against their suppliers for a better price. Guess all's fair in love and the battle against rising material costs. [Auto News Europe]