The auto industry is at a crossroad. The car makers who are in the high volume segments have bounced back with the economy regaining some of its lost momentum. But the high value, low volume segment of the automobile industry is finding it very difficult to survive. The cost of Research and Development to come up with newer and better models and keeping up with the changing technologies is threatening them with redundancy.
Strategic collaboration, partnership or even outright mergers and acquisitions are a way out for these players. One such auto maker Aston Martin, renowned for making vehicles driven by fictional spy James Bond, would take engine technology from Daimler in exchange for building cars. A partnership would help both Daimler and Aston Martin reap economies of scale for low-volume niche products. Daimler had earlier given the Mercedes Benz underpinnings to Aston Martin to help build a Lagonda concept car.
Maybach, another low volume ultra luxury brand has also been struggling to lift sales. Other niche luxury brands such as Bugatti and Lamborghini have also joined hands with Volkswagen to reap benefits of their expertise. British based Lotus has an agreement in place with Toyota for engines. Spyker Cars bought much larger Saab to become a bigger player in the competitive market.