Aston Martin recently announced a technical partnership with Mercedes-AMG to support the development of next-gen Astons
Significantly, Zetsche ruled out any Mercedes or AMG badging from Aston’s future range of cars, which will be powered by engines bought in from the German luxury car maker.
That includes details such as a ‘Powered by AMG’ badge on the engine or bodywork, which could have formed an integral part of the brand identity of the next generations of Vantage, DB9 and Vanquish.
"A subtle involvement with Aston Martin is better for us," Zetsche told Autocar in Munich last week. "Our customers will know about it without us making too much of the link. That is enough for us."
Zetsche also played down any influence that Mercedes might have in directing Aston’s future product plans.
"It is up to Aston Martin to make specific product plans. We have only just agreed a deal in which we announced we would share engines and electrical components," he said.
Zetsche did, however, open the possibility that Mercedes’ alloy chassis architecture could be included in the technology sharing deal.
Aston’s VH bonded and riveted alloy chassis will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year and will need updating to remain competitive in the coming decade against rivals such as Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche.
Aston would have to make a huge investment in a new chassis, and sharing with Mercedes may make financial sense.
"It’s for them to decide. But we would listen carefully to them," said Zetsche.