It’s been a remarkable week for Aston Martin, voted the world’s coolest brand, ahead of a list of 100 of the world’s biggest names. Managing to come ahead of Apple is a remarkable achievement for a tiny British company building a few thousand cars annually in the Warwickshire countryside.

But, according to the industry jungle drums, Aston’s future is not as secure as you might expect. In 2009, after the credit crunch, it spent just £13m on research and development. In 2010 it sold just 4250 cars.

Aston’s negotiations with Mercedes have, according to the German press, come to nothing. The deal was supposed to be that Aston’s design team would help out with the ailing Maybach brand, potentially building future models in the UK, while Mercedes could supply the Brits with new-generation engine technology and other electro-essentials such as modern infotainment systems.