Aston Martin’s future depends on Daimler partnership
Just when it seemed a brand new collaboration was on the verge of rising, talks between Aston Martin and Daimler have been slowed almost to a halt. The two brands had an interest in working with each other because it would be mutually beneficial: Aston Martin would have helped in developing Maybach models and they would, in turn, be able to take advantage of Mercedes’ latest technology. Now, German publications have reported that this agreement has collapsed and, as a result, Aston Martin’s future is in grave danger.
The first Aston Martin vehicle to feel the heat may be the DB9 supercar. This model is built on the VH platform that was developed when Aston was owned by Ford Motor Co, but since a redesign is expected for the 2014 model year, Aston Martin finds itself scrambling for a new platform; one they thought they would be able to get from Daimler. The redesigned Vantage scheduled to come out in 2015 is in the same precarious situation, leaving Aston working doubletime to re-engineer the current platform, powertrain, and sheet metal.
The highly anticipated Lagonda models aren’t any safer. This bump in the road leaves their production entirely uncertain because the SUV was going to be built on the Mercedes GL platform and the sedan was supposed to use the Mercedes S-Class platform.
Aston Martin is completely at a loss, though. They just secured a £304 million bond - about $440 million at the current rates - from global investors at a rather high 9.25% interest over the next seven years. This money will be going towards designing all new platforms for their full line of sports cars, including the DB9, Vantage, and Rapide.
Source: Automotive News