Aston Martin has put the launch of its Lagonda brand on indefinite hold, sources have revealed.
The Lagonda SUV concept was first seen at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, with Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez saying he wanted Lagonda to produce as many cars per year as Aston Martin.
Lagonda was being billed as a separate brand to Aston Martin, with an identity based more on comfort and luxury than performance. Its upmarket billing would have meant it was aimed at emerging car markets where there was a large demand for super-luxury cars, such as Russia, China, the Middle East and South America.
The concept seen at Geneva was powered by a V12 engine and featured a raised ride height and all-wheel drive. These features were set to appear on all future Lagondas, according to Bez.
Production Lagondas were set to be built on Mercedes platforms. The concept SUV shared its underpinnings with the Mercedes GL and the two firms were said to be in talks about a Mercedes/Lagonda tie-up.
Lagondas were likely to have been Aston Martin's showcase for hybrid technology, as well as diesel engines. Bez said at Geneva's launch, "The concept has our petrol V12, but we’re thinking about both petrol-electric hybrid and diesel powertrains too."
However, Bez has now been quoted as saying the Lagonda project had been put on hold, mainly due to the current economic climate.
"We have several sources ready to invest upward of £250m but the timing right now is simply wrong," he said. "We have some work to do yet, and it takes a lot of investment."
An Aston Martin spokesman told Autocar that as far as the company was concerned, the Lagonda SUV was only ever a concept car and it had made no commitment to putting the concept into production.