Aston Martin had last year forged an alliance with Mercedes-Benz which gave it access to the German manufacturer’s engines, gearboxes and electronic architecture in exchange for a five per cent stake. Now, according to a report by AutomobileMag, it seems that Mercedes-Benz might take the association further by offering the platforms of its next-generation GL and SL to the British manufacturer for its future cars.
With the likes of Bentley, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Maserati all getting their own premium SUVs, Aston Martin is also planning to get a bite of the lucrative segment with a new entry. Back at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin had showcased the Lagonda Concept, an SUV based on the Mercedes-Benz GL platform. The GL is set for a facelift later this year and will be replaced by an all-new one in 2018. Codenamed X167, the car will be based on the modular high architecture (MHA) which might be shared with Aston Martin. The SL on the other hand, is here to stay for a while and will be replaced only by 2020. Both the next-gen SL and SLK are going to be based on the modular sports car architecture (MSA), though unlike the MHA, this platform is still in its nascent stages.
Both these platforms are being designed with focus on flexibilities allowing alterations in length, width, height, wheelbase and bodystyle of the vehicle. Mercedes-Benz is doing quite well, though the same cannot be said about Aston Martin. The British manufacturer has changed owners quite often in the last few years and the future of the company is still uncertain. Currently owned by a conglomerate of investors, Aston Martin has a comparatively low funding to replace its ageing lineup of cars. Money is a big issue and the company cannot afford to refresh its lineup and add a new SUV within its GBP 500 million (Rs 5,012.80 crore) four-year investment budget. In such a condition, it could be beneficial for the company to take Mercedes-Benz’s assistance for R&D, in exchange for another chuck of stocks. Mercedes-Benz acquiring Aston Martin is also a possibility, which could turn out to be profitable for both the manufacturers.