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.

Continued after the jump.

Aston Martin will sell the Toyota iQ in Europe as the Cygnet
- image 307533

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.

Source: Wall Street Journal

What do you think?
Show Comments


Uncia  (868) posted on 06.30.2009

If I were Toyota, I’d also look into producing a less-luxurious but sportier DB9 as a new Supra.

Uncia  (231) posted on 06.30.2009

Well, it definitely looks a lot better than Toyota’s rendition st the same time, Aston Martin gets you about 15 MPG in combined cycle. Give away an iQ with each sale, the fleet average MPG will become 35+ MPG. Nice way to go around the environmental laws.

Uncia  (289) posted on 06.30.2009

I’m actually a little shocked at how well the grille integrates with the headlight design on the front. The hood and fender vents certainly seem out of place given the drivetrain but it does add some familiar cues to a shape that was originally penned by Toyota designers.

Will Aston Martin actually see this through to production? How will the profile, rear, and interior look if it does make it to production? What markets would this mini-AM be sold in? Will it do more harm than good to the company’s reputation? Ah, so many questions but an interesting morsel.

Uncia  (318) posted on 06.30.2009

This post had me double checking the calender on my laptop and thinking I must really need more coffee.

The absolute worst kind of brand dillution. It does not dillute a luxury car brand when it appears on a really high end set of luggage or a really nice watch. It does dillute it when you put it on a econobox you didn’t even build. This is just so wrong.

Uncia  (421) posted on 06.30.2009

This iconcept will work if Aston sticks to selling the Cygnet to current Aston Martin owners, Because you won’t see that many around.

I hope they only use the 4 cylinder engine if it goes into production for real.

I think this Qi would need a specific market and that is for those who are ready to shellout their money free for a piece of this toycar.

Uncia  (314) posted on 06.30.2009

It’s as if some asked the same question which I have been wondering for years, why does luxury have to be wrapped in big packaging? Why not try it as a pilot-program in a Mini or super-mini like the IQ?

hat’s all there is to it, they’re just playing around, seeing if they can find a niche somewhere. Nothing wrong with creativity and curiosity taking place.

Furthermore, I think that rich are moving into cars like Fiat 500, Mini and the IQ because they are trying to appeal to the pressure that so m is putting onto rich these days - meaning ZERO showing off. They want what looks like a politically correct car on outside and super luxurious on

adrian  (90) posted on 06.30.2009

With such heritage the new Aston Martin will look cool, but the price will probably be double (over $20k).

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