Aston Martin and Daimler are in discussions to extend their partnership and produce a sports utility vehicle, people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. In 2013, Daimler agreed to acquire a 5-percent stake in Aston Martin as part of a technology-sharing agreement that entails Mercedes-Benz's AMG high-performance unit to develop V-8 engines with the British company for Aston Martin's future models.
Sources told Bloomberg that a possible cooperation extension may entail Daimler to possibly share the platform of a new large SUV with Aston Martin. One of the sources said discussions are still in an early phase since the SUV won't arrive for another three years and Aston Martin is still considering whether to employ its own technology to develop a crossover.
Aston Martin is the only global luxury carmaker that isn’t part of any larger manufacturing group. Investment firm Investindustrial owns a 37.5-percent stake in Aston Martin. Aston Martin unveiled plans in 2013 to invest GBP500 million ($832 million) in the next four years to challenge its luxury rivals. Other supercar makers now developing SUVs for the United States, China and Russia are Maserati, Bentley and Lamborghini.
SUVs are popular in these countries mainly because of longer driving distances and larger areas of undeveloped land. Investindustrial Chairman Andrea Bonomi remarked in 2013 aims to expand Aston's lineup while forming partnerships with other company to limit development costs.
Aston Martin is now looking for new chief executive after Ulrich Bez stepped down at the end of 2013. A source told Bloomberg that Aston Martin would not decide on its model strategy until its names a new CEO.