The past two weeks have been pretty interesting. First, I spent a few hours at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ with Aston’s design chief, Marek Reichman. I should admit that I know Reichman from way back in the late 1980s, because we did our first Industrial Design degree together.
Having had a good look at the new Lagonda ‘super-saloon’ I had to ask question about the Lagonda SUV concept shown five years ago. Will the company would pursue an SUV after the launch of the new limited-edition Lagonda ‘super-saloon’, but Reichman would only hint that any decision is some way off.
“I won’t say definitely yes and I won’t say definitely no,” he said. “But will Ferrari build an SUV? Probably not,” said Reichman. Which might be the best steer yet that Aston is cooling on the idea of launching into what will be a crowded market for ‘ultra-luxury’ SUVs.
A few days after meeting Reichman, I found myself with Rolls Royce. Rolls has admitted that it is actively investigating building some kind of SUV. Indeed, the first sketching started earlier this year and my source admitted that the designer’s first attempts were not too convincing. The latest work, however, is “showing much greater promise”.
In truth, entering the SUV market seems to make more sense for Rolls Royce than it does for Aston Martin. A company that builds luxury cars probably needs to cover off the marked shift in executive travel from low-slung saloons to high-rise SUVs.