Aston Martin might build electric crossovers in the United States


AF News Desk
04-24-2015, 10:23 AM
http://img2.autoweek.com/styles/gen-932-524/public/dbx-concept_01_1.jpg?itok=ni4riPOG
Would you buy an electric Aston Martin? What if it was a crossover? And what it it was built in the United States? Photo by Aston Martin



The electric, 4x4 DBX concept could be built on American soil


Remember the Aston Martin DBX, the all-electric AMC Eagle-ized luxury coupe (http://autoweek.com/article/geneva-motor-show/all-electric-aston-martin-dbx-concept-traverse-fury-road-post-peak-oil) that emerged at the Geneva motor show (http://autoweek.com/auto-shows/geneva-motor-show)? According to a Financial Times report (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/e79424a0-e809-11e4-894a-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3Y324J7d7), the British luxury automaker is at least considering the prospect of building it right here on American soil.
Whoa. Thatís notable for at least three reasons, each of which signals a significant departure from what, to us, Aston Martin stands for:
1. Aston Martin may build crossovers.
2. Aston Martin may build electric vehicles.
3. Aston Martin may build vehicles United States.

But we suppose if youíre going to change -- and Aston Martin, with its aging lineup and limited model range, desperately needs to take a great leap forward -- you might as well go big. And really, each of the above potential moves makes sense when considered in isolation.



First, the matter of crossovers: Every luxury automaker (save for Ferrari, we hope) has either taken the plunge or is about to. Itís an inevitability, so you might as well get used to it; if this is what it takes to keep beloved old marques alive, weíll take it.
And perhaps itís all a matter of perspective: The crossover, it could be argued, is simply the modern equivalent of the shooting brake. God knows we all go nuts for Aston Martin shooting brakes (http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/bertone-aston-martin-jet-2-ultimate-country-squire-new-shooting-brake-granddaddy).

Next, electric Astons. Faced with tightening global emissions regulations, Astonís going to have to find some way to offset all those 800-hp V12s (http://autoweek.com/article/new-york-auto-show/800-hp-aston-martin-vulcan-set-north-american-debut-new-york-auto-show). Since theyíre not part of a bigger automotive concern, they donít have a fleet of city cars to lean on.
If the DBX isnít quite your speed, look at what Astonís tried in the past. Yes, weíre talking about the Cygnet (http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/aston-martin-drops-cygnet-city-car). Enough said.

Finally, opening a factory in the U.S. This is a tough one -- this strategy has worked so far for German luxury automakers, with BMW building crossovers in Spartanburg, S.C., and Mercedes operating a plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Audi is working on a plant in Mexico that will soon produce the new Q5.



But Aston Martin isnít BMW or Benz; it isnít even Bentley. Itís small, independent and fiercely British. People like it that way -- or at least the relatively small number of people still buying Astons seem to like it that way. Itís going to take a deft marketing touch to pull this one off, but we suppose it beats building cars in China.
Weíll be sure to bring you more about Astonís game plan as more information becomes available. The company has pulled through some tough situations that make the current sales slump seem like a walk in the park -- we're sure theyíll figure this one out, U.S.-built electric DBX or not.

http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/aston-martin-considering-building-electric-crossovers-united-stateswait-what

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