Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez has confirmed the rebirth of the Lagonda brand, according to Autocar, and further implied that it will be comprised a multi-model range, not simply a single vehicle.
This news comes despite the overwhelmingly negative reaction the Lagonda crossover concept received in Geneva two years ago. The controversial Lagonda concept was based on a Mercedes GL, and Bez admitted that a Mercedes tie-up remained "a good concept." This could become more appealing to both parties if the proposed deal for Aston Martin to develop and build future models for Daimler's struggling Maybach brand goes through. Bez has said that the Lagonda relaunch could cost a fraction of the billion dollars it reportedly cost Daimler to get Maybach up and running.
Chief designer Marek Reichman has not been deterred by the negative reaction to the Geneva show car. "That was a reaction car," said Reichmann. "It was about provoking debate and gauging whether people were willing to accept Lagonda as a brand. People didn't say Lagonda shouldn't exist, they just said that a Lagonda shouldn't look like that.
The company is seeking financial backing for the project and an automotive partner to provide platform and drivetrain technologies. Future Lagondas will be four-wheel-drive SUVs and target emerging markets, especially Russia and China. Taking those countries' generally poor road conditions into account was a key consideration in market positioning.
"Aston Martin is present in 35 countries, but there are limits to where you can drive a sports car," said Janette Green, Aston's director of brand communications. "In Russia, for example, you need a car that can cope with difficult roads and harsh winters." And for wealthy clientele and/or dignitaries seeking a little extra protection from the hoi polloi, Lagonda will also offer armored versions of its models.
Do you think Aston's planned Lagonda relaunch is a sound idea, or is it destined for a fate similar to Maybach: slow sales? Let us know in the comments section below.