Monday, September 01, 2008

Aston Martin revives Lagonda marque

Aston Martin has today confirmed the company's intention to revive the historic British Lagonda marque.

In a statement announcing the news, Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez referred to the company's forthcoming four-door Rapide model, further raising speculation that the car may be badged as a Lagonda rather than Aston Martin.

Dr Bez said: "We will take elements of DNA from the past but will be very future orientated as we are with Aston Martin." Rapide is also a model name previously used by Lagonda.

By offering cars of a "different character" from Aston Martin and with "a unique design language", the move is a bid to expand the company's market presence from 32 to 100 countries worldwide.

Lagonda history

The last production outing for the famous marque, which was purchased by David Brown in 1947 together with Aston Martin and merged into one company, was the futuristic 1970s Aston Martin Lagonda.

While the car itself was beset by problems with its advanced electronics and did not earn a good reputation, the technical ambition it demonstrated as well as income generated from advance orders was credited with saving Aston Martin from bankruptcy.

Only a few bespoke four-door 1990s Aston Martin Virage models produced for export have since worn the Lagonda badge.

More jobs in Gaydon

The new Rapide is expected to add another 1,000 - 2,000 cars to Aston Martin's production numbers and create jobs for at least 200 more workers at its Warwickshire plant, with the facility having to be expanded with a new production line and developments to the body and paint shops.

A concept of the first new Lagonda will be revealed in 2009 with the car planned to be in production by 2012.