Report: Talks Continue Between Daimler, Aston Martin on SUV Development
Partnership May Go Beyond Engine Tech Sharing
Back in October, we reported on a collaboration between Daimler and Aston Martin on the development of a future SUV model following the previous announcement of a technical partnership between the two companies on the development of future powertrains for the high-end brand. At the time, Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez was surprisingly forthcoming about the potential model for platform sharing between the two brands, citing the Volkswagen Group's sharing of the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne platforms for two distinct vehicles. Bloomberg reports talks are continuing on SUV development between Aston and Daimler. Aston Martin is the only major global luxury brand that is not owned by a larger parent company, as is the case with Jaguar Land Rover, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and Bugatti.
Aston Martin sold only 4,000 vehicles worldwide in 2013, a figure it’s looking to nearly double by 2016 to 7,000 units. A big part of that growth plan is reportedly an SUV model. SUVs are in high demand among luxury buyers in developing markets such as China and Russia. Daimler, Aston Martin, and 37.5-percent-stakeholder Investindustrial didn’t have any comment on the talks. Utilizing a shared platform with the next-generation Mercedes-Benz ML or GL would be significantly more cost-effective than developing its own platform from scratch. However, unlike the GL, which is built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the Aston SUV would likely be built in England.