Start thinking of Battle of Britain jokes now. Rumors have been circulating that Daimler-Benz might buy Aston Martin, although neither company has confirmed speculation.
Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche told Autocar that the German company – which already owns five percent of Aston – isn’t trying to buy the British sports car maker right now, but also said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a purchase completely.
He said Daimler was “willing to support its [Aston’s] further development.”
The two companies are already involved in a technical partnership that will see Mercedes’ AMG performance division produce a new V-8 engine for the next Aston Martin Vantage.
While the terms limit cooperation to engines and certain electrical components, there have been hints that the companies want to do more, including develop a Lagonda-badged SUV based on the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.
While this Anglo-German union might seem a bit ironic to history buffs, it also makes sense for Aston.
It’s getting harder to run a small independent carmaker in today’s world of costly technology, which is why most high-end carmakers have partnered with larger, mainstream brands. Bentley, for example, has flourished under Volkswagen’s ownership, as has Rolls-Royce under BMW’s.
Larger carmakers simply have more money and other resources, which every carmaker needs to remain competitive.
However, just because something makes sense, it doesn’t mean it will happen.
There’s nothing wrong with the cars Aston Martin produces now, or the fact that it produces them without a corporate patron. If it can keep doing that, then more power to it. If not, then a merger with Daimler (or another carmaker) wouldn’t be that bad compared to the prospect of losing one of the greatest names in the car business.
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