Return of the Zombie Brands: Lagonda

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Reviving once-proud brand names as a way to sell more high-priced cars has been a favorite technique for low-volume production. Mercedes’ Maybach experiment may not have been a runaway success, but it’s not stopping Jaguar from talking about reviving the Daimler nameplate. And now Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez has announced [via The Autochannel] that his employer’s disinterring Aston’s old chum. “Revival of the Lagonda brand would allow us to develop cars which can have a different character than a sportscar, and therefore offer a perfect synergy.” And there you were thinking that Aston’s forthcoming Rapide four-door had all that hearkening stuff covered. Why not slap the Lagonda name on that bad boy? “Lagonda will use a unique design language as Aston Martin does,” Bez blustered. “We will take elements of DNA from the past but will be very future orientated as we are with Aston Martin.” AM plans a Langonda concept for the brand’s centennial anniversary in 2009, which could be a production model by 2012.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Zarba Zarba on Sep 02, 2008

    Call me unimpressed. On the low end, they'd be competing against: Bentley Continental Flying Spur Porsche Panamera Rolls-Royce RR4 Mercedes AMG Maserati Quattroporte And on the high end: Rolls-Royce Phantom Bentley Arnage Maybach (soon to be DOA) Bugatti's next car There just doesn't appear to be anywhere for them to go. They can't compete for the high end; Lagonda just doesn't have the rep, as Maybach found out. Even if the styling wasn't horrible, the Maybach name never carried any weight. On the low end, the competition is both very good and has well-established brand equity. I just don't see how a small company like Aston can develop and market a Rolls Phantom level car. The dost to build it would bankrupt them. Aston should keep to their niche, where they are finally getting traction, and not get distracted by A Car Too Far.

  • Oldyak Oldyak on Sep 02, 2008

    I cannot believe..that you found the worst possible picture of the Lagonda... but to some British car bashers..I understand! Too bad you didn't inform the 'best and brightest' that this car was engineered in the 70`s and in proper trim(how did you find a whitewall pic) the car was fantastic looking!!

  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Sep 02, 2008

    Firstly the Lagonda is an awesome vehicle. Literally. It fulfilled its requirement superbly, being an extreme and obvious display of wealth and was aimed a clientele for whom this was important. The Rolls-Royce Camargue was very similar in this respect. That said in some colours and trim specs the Lagonda actually looks rather dignified, particularly the shooting brake. Secondly, I disagree with the parallel drawn between Daimler and Maybach. Daimler is still in production and has never been out of production (thereby making it the oldest nameplate of all) thus it doesn't need to be 'revived'. Even the limousines are relatively recent the last of which, the DS420 only went out of production in 1992 - many of which are still in service in their original occupations as dignitary transport and as wonderful hearses. Maybach on the other hand had a completely contrived revival making a car that wasn't anything to anybody. I feel there is a definite spot for a limo that is less ostenatatious than a caddy, but cheaper than a Rolls Royce.

  • Morven Morven on Sep 04, 2008

    The Lagonda shooting brake wasn't factory - it was as I recall a one-off done by a coachbuilding firm. Very interesting, though; they should have produced it, I think. When looking at the Aston Martin Lagonda shown above, keep in mind that this is a car that went into production in 1976. For its time, it was quite a fascinating beast.