Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin tussle over the definition of luxuryby Ronan Glon
Aston claims Rolls-Royce is like ancient Greece.
Aston Martin introduced the Lagonda Vision concept earlier this week at the Geneva Auto Show. So far, so good. But then, one of its top executives took a jab at future rival Rolls-Royce that started a public war of words.
"Look at Rolls-Royce: it's the most luxurious car in the world. Given its roots, its reason for being, it's essentially still an internal combustion engine to replace a horse, a carriage and a trunk. It's an imperfect package for luxury," accused Lagonda design boss Marek Reichman in an interview with Autocar. He later compared the brand to ancient Greece. Ouch.
He pledged to redefine the concept of a luxury car early in the next decade as he helps Aston launch Lagonda. Officials want to build the world's first full-electric ultra-luxury brand and take advantage of the possibilities created by electrification and autonomy. They also want to take down Rolls-Royce during the same process.
Rolls-Royce didn't stay silent for very long.
"They really don't understand our segment, they really don't understand the customers. They are in a complete different league on pricing, they have zero clue what's going on in the upper, upper segment, zero. I am sorry to be so blunt," Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Otvös told the Financial Times. He added the remarks were "highly unprofessional," especially considering the relationship between the two British firms has always been "amicable."
Photos by Ronan Glon.