Aston Martin, a possible target for Mercedes-Benz?

Reading this breaking news on Autocar UK this morning I almost fell off my chair and partially experienced a heart stroke. Not that I was so impressed about the news itself, but somehow I was a bit horrified and confused. Let me paste the article here for you to understand:

<< Mercedes to buy Aston Martin?

Unconfirmed reports from well-placed sources in Germany suggest that Mercedes Benz is looking to buy a substantial stake in Aston Martin.

Rumours of a potential tie-up between the two premium marques originally emerged from Kuwait in February. Adham Charonoglu, of Aston’s Kuwaiti majority shareholder DAR, suggested that Aston and Mercedes could collaborate on a range of ventures, from engine supply to entirely new models.

It now seems that Mercedes-Benz is taking a much more serious interest. And there is a business link; the Kuwaiti Investment Authority hold a seven per cent stake in Daimler AG.

Such a move could also help to secure Aston’s long-term future. A small company like Aston needs to buy in major components from a major automotive brand like Mercedes to remain financially viable.

We know the next generation Mercedes SL will switch to a lightweight aluminium platform, presenting an obvious opportunity for Aston Martin to collaborate with Mercedes to develop new models - sharing platforms, expertise and technology.

Mercedes-Benz’s current association with McLaren ends next year when the SLR goes out of production. This leaves the path clear Merc to start a new association with a British supercar maker.

Hilton Holloway/Will Powell >>

Link to the article

Well, a quite weird interest in a small British carmaker which produces exclusive cars, but somehow lacks sales & profit. Should I remind the reasons why Ford decided to sell it in 2007?Maybe no. It's more than obvious;but what it's not obvious or clear is the possible interest of Mercedes-Benz in buying Aston Martin. Clearly, at this moment, AM does not have anything to offer. The 3 models of the range are far from being appealing, and I doubt the future Rapide will change the situation. Technically speaking, they are not brilliant;many problems with the clutch, an overestimated torque produced by the engine, unbalanced power output, a rudimentary running platform that offers no adrenaline to the driver, a dreadful gearbox which acts like it would have needles in it, and last, but not least, the interior lacks the traditional AM feeling, that has been washed away somewhere in the past. With these major issues to be solved, why would Mercedes-Benz be interested in buying a non-profitable carmaker?I think it would be a total catastrophy, like the ones with Maybach or McLaren. MB management still lacks innovation and personality in raising other brands, and the best they could do now is concentrate on developing great cars on their own, like the new C-Klasse, which continues to demonstrate that it is indeed a successful story. In conclusion, Mercedes-Benz should learn from the past experiences and stop dreaming at stupid chances, if this is what they are doing at the moment...

Note:For those who do not know, the SLR production will come to a halt in 2009, but this doesn't mean a full stop in the collaboration with McLaren, which will continue to produce engines and other technical units for the F1 cars. In the past, meaning 4 or 5 months ago, we also heard that MB was interested in absorbing McLaren, although later, the German officials denied any attempts or interest in doing that.

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