If you follow the car industry at all, then you will no doubt have heard some of the chatter that has been going on about Aston Martin’s latest release – the Aston Martin Cygnet. And, being the opinionated soul that I am, I couldn’t help but wade into the debate!
In case you have managed to miss this set of developments, the Cygnet is essentially an Aston Martin branded version of the tiny Toyota IQ, a car loved by commuters but not so much by luxury car addicts. This isn’t the sleek streamlined sports car that you would expect from the Aston brand, and the fact that they are charging around £30k for a car that you can buy from Toyota for much much less hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Of course, it is possible to understand the theory behind this new release. Aston Martin are producing meaty powerful cars (albeit beautiful ones) in an age where MPG and fuel economy are the dish of the day. In order to try and keep their reputation high, Aston are clearly thinking that a practical little commuter car will prove to the world that they understand that sometimes less is more, and also are aware of the problems with city parking.
However, what Aston are missing is the fact that people who can afford an Aston Martin want to get every drop of reputation-boosting statusout of their car, and generally making an impact doesn’t involve driving a shoe box on wheels. And along the same lines, owners of the gorgeous cars generally won’t have problems with finding a parking space – they will be in the position to own one. I suppose there is some logic behind the idea of the £30k Cygnet as a second car for days in the city – but I have to admit to not really being able to see this happening.
I have one final gripe to add to the equation – the name. Cygnet as a name is just asking for trouble, with so many easy metaphors about ugly ducklings, and never growing into a swan. The scratty, brown feathered Cygnets that we are all used to seeing in our local parks don’t exactly conjure up a mental image of refined grace, more of teenage spots and gangliness. What were the marketing department thinking?!
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