Lagonda SUV gets green light

Aston Martin IS going to produce the Lagonda SUVIt seems that Aston Martin will, after all, be producing a big, Mercedes GL based Lagonda SUV.I know, the world’s gone mad. Well, perhaps not mad, but Aston Martin has certainly lost its way with the Lagonda name.

At the Geneva Motor Show last year (2009), Aston Martin brought along an enormous Lagonda SUV Concept which they said was the way forward for Lagonda. That was until the car world collectively threw up its arms in horror that such as distinguished badge could be attached to a monster SUV. And a monster SUV that was a Mercedes GL under the skin.

Once Aston Martin realised which way the wind was blowing they rapidly vacated the SUV Concept from their stand. Subsequently David Richards – he of Aston Martin and Prodrive – said that the Lagonda SUV Concept was just a way to gauge public opinion and that there would be a new concept later in 2009 that would be “…completely opposite to the one you saw in Geneva”. But that Concept never materialised.

Move on just a few weeks to April 2009 and we have Marcel Beci, Aston Martin’s Euro boss, stating publicly that Lagonda will NOT have an SUV/Crossover, however luxurious, in its lineup. Which is clear enough. Even if we now know he’s wrong.

Ulrich Bez – Aston’s CEO – said in a speech this week that the first Lagonda will be an SUV and that it will be ready to show off by the end of the year. Which makes a bit of a mockery of all that went before. But that’s car makers for you.

And we do see the logic. Particularly as the Lagonda will be aimed at emerging markets with their often less than brilliant infrastructure and roads. But why use the Lagonda name? We’re not sure how much the Lagonda name resonates in places like India and China, so why use it?

Why not use one of Aston’s other marques, such as Tickford? They could have a whole range of Aston Martin Tickford SUVs and leave the Lagonda badge for a halo super-saloon to take on the Bugatti Galibier.

Or is that too obvious?