Automotive News is reporting that Aston Martin hopes to double annual sales by 2016 and then continue that growth by introducing the long-rumored SUV model for the brand. According to AN’s source, Aston Martin intends to expand its existing lineup into growing markets like Asia and South America to reach 7000 annual sales by 2016.
Also included in the AN report is a rumor that current Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez will be replaced by a new CEO within the next few months, with Bez becoming a non-executive chairman for the brand. This new CEO would then lead Aston Martin’s expansion with future Aston Martin including new, V-8-powered versions of the Aston Martin Vantage and DB9.
A proposed Aston Martin crossover model could then afford the brand further expansion, according to AN’s source. The idea for an Aston Martin SUV first came about with the Aston Martin Lagonda concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. A few months ago, we reported on a technical partnership between Mercedes AMG and Aston Martin; according to our European bureau Chief Georg Kacher, the Aston Martin crossover could be on the same platform as the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV which should arrive by 2016.
According to Kacher, Mercedes is planning for a high-end, coupe-like variant of the GL which would be the basis for the Aston Martin luxury crossover. The GL-Class is currently produced at Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa, AL, and if the Aston Martin crossover becomes a reality, it could be produced in the U.S. and then shipped to the U.K. for final assembly.
We don’t know if or when the Aston Martin SUV will become a reality, but the new partnership with Mercedes-Benz along with this plan for expansion could lend credence to the project.
Source: Automotive News