The current economic crisis has resulted in the partnership of a number of unlikely car manufacturers. First there was Fiat and Chrysler. Then it was Saab and Koenigsegg
And now we have Toyota and Aston Martin.
While Toyota and Aston Martin’s alliance is not on the level of the other two, the Japanese auto giant is in the process of producing its iQ model for its more upscale colleague in the United Kingdom.
The partnership of the two manufacturers comes at a time when both are in desperate need for bold and revolutionary moves that can jumpstart a floundering industry that’s in dire need of some fresh blood.
As part of the agreement, Toyota will supply iQ cars, which, as a matter of fact, are built in Japan, to Aston Martin, which, in turn, will sell these vehicles under the brand under a pseudonym: the Cygnet.
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Aston Martin’s foray into the compact car sector seems unlikely given its long history of producing sports and luxury cars, but with the global market’s growing preference for smaller, lower-emission cars that comply with emission regulations around the world, the timing of this partnership couldn’t have come at a better time for the UK automakers.
In a statement made by Aston Martin Chief Executive Ulrich Bez, he said: "Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this first bold step to embark on this special project — made possible with the support of an organization of Toyota’s stature and capability and the intelligent design and perfect city car package of the iQ,"
As for Toyota, the partnership marks yet another ground-breaking move by new Toyota president Akio Toyoda. Barely a month after his ascension to the top-ranking position in the company, Toyoda – who’s also the first member of the founding family to become president in 14 years – has made it clear that he’s the type of president that will pursue all avenues worth exploring, as opposed to merely sitting behind a desk and let everyone else run the company.
As a result of this partnership, Toyota is hoping that the iQ/Cygnet goes over well with the British people so it could accelerate the production of the car as well as improve the company’s overall production efficiency.
As far as brand associations are concerned, Toyota is also hoping that by partnering with a prestigious brand like Aston Martin, it, in turn, can lift up their stock and break into the more elusive upper class.
Whether or not this happens, the partnership between Toyota and Aston Martin is still as unlikely as it comes. And as improbable as it may seem at first, it just might and up becoming a match made in automotive heaven.