Aston Martin's Lagonda SUV Plans Still Alive And Kicking

Aston Martin’s 2009 Lagonda SUV concept was hardly a critical success. In fact, at least one media outlet implored Aston Martin to abandon plans for the large and ungainly SUV.

In the years since, word of an Aston Martin Lagonda SUV seems to crop up every six months or so, which means it’s about time for a new batch of rumors.

This time, Autocar says the Lagonda SUV will be shown as a concept in the next year, with the ultimate goal of launching it to shore up struggling sales of luxury GT cars, like Aston Martin’s flagship DBS.

It’s no secret that the current crop of luxury SUV concepts (like the Bentley EXP 9 F and the Lamborghini Urus) are aimed at the Chinese market. Chinese buyers, flush with cash, can’t get enough of go-anywhere luxury SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne, but have turned a relatively cold shoulder to cars like the Aston Martin DB9 and DBS.

Reviving the Lagonda SUV, therefore, is a way to capture sales in the Chinese market and compete against other high-end luxury marques. If nothing else, it buys Aston Martin time to wait for the recovery of the global luxury sports car market, which isn’t expected to return to pre-recession sales before 2014 at the earliest.

In the words of IHS Automotive analyst Colin Couchman, “The traditional markets for supercars - the U.S. and Europe - are still depressed. Although the Chinese market remains buoyant, that won’t feed through to Aston because the Chinese don’t yet see the value of displaying their wealth through owning an expensive sports car.”

Assuming that the Aston Martin Lagonda SUV does appear on the 2013 auto show circuit, the challenge will be taking it from concept to launch in less time than offerings from Bentley and Lamborghini. Given Aston Martin’s limited resources, that may prove to be the biggest obstacle of all.
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