The news that Aston-Martin will re-body and re-trim Toyota’s iQ to sell as a £20K premium urban runabout was met with much scratching of heads today.
Initially, it seems like madness – marketing gone mad.
But, I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest that it works on a number of levels:
- It’s going to be sold initially only to existing AM customers, thus guaranteeing exclusivity
- It takes the most sophisticated A-segment chassis and drivetrain from the iQ, and adds an elegant(ish) AM corporate nose
- When a Mini Cooper with a few options easily hits £20K, wouldn’t you rather have an Aston?
- It instantly gives AM a more relevant urban credibility than any other sports-car manufacturer
- Oh, and it undoubtedly gives AM a handy leg-up in achieving reduced corporate CO2 levels…
Cynicism aside, this is exactly the kind of segment that has relevance for current global + economic trends. It’s an audacious move, and one that several premium German OEMs would do well to watch very carefully. I’m not sure how successful it can or will be, but I think it’s indicative of how car companies must evolve to remain relevant in an uncertain future.
I’ll take one in off-white please, with a dark tan-leather interior, and matching loafers. HOT!