Entering the very top of the luxury saloon market is no easy task. Even a company like Daimler has had trouble positioning its Maybach program against the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce – owned by its archrivals at Volkswagen and BMW, respectively. Aston Martin is looking at taking a bite out of the hyper-exclusive market with the impending re-launch of its Lagonda brand, but both Aston and Daimler apparently believe that getting a profitable foothold in that stratospheric segment is more than either of them are up to alone. So they're going at it together.
Reports began emerging of an Aston/Daimler partnership several years ago, suggesting that Daimler could turn to Aston for its expertise in building small production runs – a skill to which Daimler is not accustomed. Now Car and Driver is detailing the particulars of that tie-up that could lead to big things for both automakers. What Daimler would get out of the deal is the potentially more viable production of next-generation Maybach models, also built atop the Mercedes-Benz S-Class platform (albeit the next iteration) but at Aston's plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England.
What Aston would get in return is the technology (in platforms, drivetrain and other equipment) on which to base its new Lagonda range, including a sedan built alongside the Maybach line as well as a GL-based crossover. The question is whether the partnership could extend to provide Aston with a new platform to replace the aging VH architecture on which its entire lineup is now based.
[Source: Car and Driver]