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Aston Martin may build Maybachs for Daimler, reports say

Thu, 23 Dec 2010 00:00:00 -0800

Aston Martin is in talks with Daimler AG over a potential partnership that would see the British luxury carmaker design and build a new Maybach ultraluxury sedan for the German automaker, Europe press reports said.

Aston Martin may take engine technology from Daimler in exchange for building Daimler's Maybach cars, the Financial Times said on Wednesday, citing people close to the situation.

German automotive magazine Auto Zeitung said Daimler has already commissioned a mock-up of a new Maybach limousine that would use know-how and parts from Aston Martin. The new Maybach could debut at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, the magazine said.

The Financial Times said a partnership with Aston Martin could give the ailing Maybach brand a new lease of life and would be much cheaper for Daimler than an in-house solution.

Aston Martin could gain access to Daimler's four-wheel-drive technology for an off-road vehicle it is considering building based on the Mercedes-Benz GL. The British brand could also benefit from Daimler's fuel-efficient diesel and gasoline engines.

Daimler on Thursday said it is evaluating options for the development of Maybach-branded products and there was no pressure to reach a decision.

"There is no cooperation deal with Aston Martin. We are often in talks about various topics, such as the donating technology for the Lagonda show car," a Daimler spokesman told Reuters.

Daimler gave the underpinnings of a Mercedes GL to help Aston Martin build a Lagonda concept car displayed at the Geneva auto show in 2009.

Aston Martin was not available for comment.

Daimler's low-volume Maybach has struggled to lift sales while Aston Martin has been on the lookout for cooperation deals since it was sold by Ford Motor Co. in 2007.

Daimler has signed a deal with Chinese battery maker BYD to build electric cars and recently said it could not have financed the third generation of its small car brand Smart without a partnership with Renault.

By Automotive News Europe