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Mercedes-Benz to Share Platforms with Aston Martin

March 26, 2014
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In the past few days, there have been rumors that Mercedes-Benz may be buying Aston Martin. Some reports imply that the German auto giant is planning the acquisition of the British luxury car brand and that the former is looking to significantly increase their stake in the former. Whether or not Mercedes-Benz will indeed buy Aston Martin in the near future remains uncertain, but one thing was recently confirmed: both automakers will share platforms.

It was recently reported that the car manufacturers will be sharing platforms, with Mercedes-Benz lending not only its GL SUV platform but also the platforms to be used in the next-generation SL and SLK models.

The GL platform, also called the MHA (modular high architecture), will give the British automaker the opportunity to work on another high-roof SUV similar to the 2009 Aston Martin Lagonda concept, which debuted at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Meanwhile, the sports-car platform named MSA provides versatility the British marque needs to construct several body configurations like coupes and convertibles.

Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin are currently involved in the joint development of a V8 engine, which is expected to power the new Aston Martin Vantage and a few other Mercedes-Benz AMG models.

The partnership of Daimler and Aston Martin go way back 2008, when Mercedes-Benz allowed its GL-Class SUV to be reworked as the Lagonda concept. Five years after it was shown to the public in Switzerland, the Lagonda has yet to become a production model.

Afterward, Daimler sought the British car manufacturer in hopes of reviving the Maybach brand.

In 2013, the automakers entered a technical partnership. Both parties signed a letter of intent wherein Mercedes-Benz agreed to give Aston Martin access to its V-8 powertrains, automatic transmissions (the seven-, eight- and nine-speed variety), as well as its electronic architecture in exchange for a five-percent stake at the British automaker.

During that time, rumors about a collaborative product were dismissed. Now, it is possible that the British automaker’s next lineup will be underpinned by the German company’s GL and SL platforms.

It is unclear whether Daimler would require a bigger stake in Aston Martin to make platform sharing a reality. However, considering that Mercedes-Benz has openly expressed more interest in working with Aston Martin, it seems like the German automaker is likely to make a bigger investment, if not pursue the acquisition of the British marque. The takeover rumors swirled after Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche acknowledged the British brand and mentioned that he was willing to pursue a deeper partnership with Aston Martin.

While it is possible for Daimler to buy the British luxury car manufacturer, money is currently a serious issue. A Mercedes-Benz board member told Automobile Magazine that the amount of money Aston Martin will be investing to renew all of its models and add an SUV to the current lineup is not sufficient. The auto company plans to invest £500 million ($833.5 million) in four years.

However, Mercedes-Benz needs to keep Aston Martin close, since the acquisition of the automaker by someone else will mean that the buyer will also get the German brand’s engines and even their SUV.

Photo credit: caranddriver.com

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