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Auto blogSun, 27 Oct 2013 13:01:00 EST
While slow sales and a $50,000 price tag may have been contributing factors to the Aston Martin Cygnet being cancelled last month, Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez is pointing the finger at Toyota for the demise of this luxurious little city car. In a discussion with Autocar, Bez is quoted as saying that the ultimate reason the Cygnet was cut is because Toyota plans on dropping the iQ (on which the Cygnet is based) in 2014 - a claim denied by the Japanese automaker.
Interestingly, the article also cites another publication reporting that a Toyota importer in the Netherlands heard the same news as Bez, and it has already stopped importing the cars. If the European Toyota iQ is cancelled, that would likely spell the end of the slow-selling Scion iQ in the US, which has sold just 3,365 units through September (a drop of 51 percent year over year).
Regardless of why production of the Cygnet ended, Bez also says that a lack of support from Toyota on the project prevented it from being offered in the US or receiving a supercharged engine, which are two factors that likely would have made the car appealing to more buyers.
If you have, like us, been salivating at the notion of a new generation of Maybach and Lagonda ultra-luxury crafts built by Aston Martin, we've got some bad news: According to reports emanating from Germany, talks between AML and Daimler have broken down.
The proposal under negotiation would have seen Daimler outsourcing production of the next family of Maybach models to Aston Martin, which in return would benefit from Mercedes-Benz platforms and engines - not only for its svelte GTs, but also for its own future Lagonda line of limousines and luxury SUVs. That, and a boatload of money - or at least that's what AML was reportedly seeking, an issue that served as the stumbling block over which the deal reportedly collapsed.
That's not to say the two parties couldn't still reach some sort of a compromise, but short of that, Daimler may opt to either shut down Maybach altogether, find another partner, or take another stab at building new models internally.
After flirting for several years, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin have finally tied the knot. Just don't expect to see any offspring to result from the union for at least three or four years.
This according to Auto Express, which spoke with Daimler chief Dr. Dieter Zetsche at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week. AE reports that a new range of AMG-developed turbocharged V8s, transmissions and electrical components will make their way into the successors to the current V8 Vantage and DB9, but that these models are still a few years off.
Purists might balk at the thought of a Mercedes-powered Aston holding true to the brand's heritage. But while David Brown (for whom the DB range is named) may have steered clear of shoehorning in Detroit muscle into his cars, the entirety of the company's current range is powered by engines borrowing technology from Ford, and that arrangement seems to have worked well for Aston until now. And if you're still skeptical, look no further than Pagani and its AMG-sourced engines and you should have all the proof you need that the new relationship between Daimler and Aston could be a success.