With centenary celebrations set for 2009, Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer Dr Ulrich Bez yesterday revealed that the Lagonda marque is ready for revival. The Lagonda badge has not been seen since 1989 when production of the luxury, wedge-shaped four-door Aston Martin Lagonda saloon ceased.
The detail of what AM now has in mind for the Lagonda badge, it has yet to reveal. However, there are a few clues to its thinking in Dr Bez's recent statement.
In his announcement, Bez discussed the need to open up new revenue streams for the company which have so far been limited by the nature of the current Aston range.
?Aston Martins are currently available in 32 countries but we will remain limited in our market penetration by the pure character of our cars - sportscars. After my eight years with Aston Martin, four with profitability, and 16 months of independence, it?s time to think about a longer term future.
That statement would seem to indicate that four doors and another luxury saloon is in the offing (something that seems to be working for Maserati). It also indicates that Lagonda is likely to be a stand-alone luxury marque, leaving "sportscars" to the Aston Martin badge.
Certainly, the British company is working hard to shore up its long-term viability. Diversifying off the back of a revigorated Aston Martin (which has now found its way into the black) would seem to be good sense.
Dr Ulrich outlined what the Logonda revival will mean for Aston Martin:
?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 sportscar, and therefore offer a perfect synergy. With Lagonda offering exclusive, luxurious and truly versatile products with high quality and usability and suitable for both existing and emerging markets, I believe we can be present in more than 100 countries in the world.
2009 has been pegged for the first concept vehicle from Lagonda, which may enter the market as soon as 2012. It will be a busy year for AM - the recently announced One-77 supercar and the four-door Rapide (a name which originally adorned the 1935 Lagonda Rapide) are also set for release during the year.
Looks like 2009 is shaping up to be an exciting one.