After the elusive hints about the hyper exclusive 1.5M€-priced One-77, Aston Martin yesterday made another bold move, announcing that it would revive the 20-year dormant Lagonda brand !
This decision stems from a simple and pragmatic reasoning as expressed by CEO Ulrich Bez :
“Aston Martins are currently available in 32 countries, but we remain limited in our market penetration by the pure character of our cars - sports cars. We have now investigated and concluded that the revival of the Lagonda brand would allow us to develop cars which can have a different character than a sports car, and therefore offer a perfect synergy".
In short, the aim is to broaden the product range and move beyond luxury sports cars - Aston Martin's sweet spot - a positioning which de facto today limits the customer reach. The Lagonda marque is associated with luxurious 4-door sedans.
Here the full declaration of Ulric Bez
Lagonda was founded in 1906, named after a river near the hometown of its founder, Wilbur Gunnield, an American from Springfield, Ohio. Right after purchasing Aston Martin, David Brown brought the company in 1947 to gain access to its engine designed by Mr Bentley, but its only in 1974 (after the David Brown era) that a Lagonda-branded car was produced. In October 1976, Aston Martin shocked the world by unveiling the fabulous and futuristic Lagonda Series 2, with its very specific design (below) and unique digital dashboard.
According to CEO Bez, the new Lagonda could reach the market in 2012 but the first concept should be presented next year. I look forward to it.
Though the economic underlying fundamentals are crystal-clear, reviving a brand is no easy task, all the more than the Lagonda marque hasn't such a great heritage after all (contrary to Aston Martin), though cars have a high recognition factor due to their very particular shape.
All you ever wanted to know on Lagondas, here.