Aston Martin’s city car Cygnet is grounded

Aston Martin's Cygnet
Aston Martin's Cygnet
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ASTON Martin has pulled the plug on the production of its eco-friendly “city” car after selling fewer than 150 of its high-priced Cygnet model.

The Warwickshire-based manufacturer of James Bond’s iconic DB5 launched the car, based on the Toyota iGo, in 2011. It aimed to meet EU caps on car emissions which came into force last year and targeted growing demand for easy to park, cheap to run small vehicles. But the Cygnet’s prohibitive £32,000 price tag was three times more than the Toyota version.

Aston, owned by Kuwaiti and Italian private equity groups, is largely exempt from the more stringent aspects of the EU emissions regulations as it only produced 3,800 units in 2012, down from 4,200 in the previous year. The EU regulations focus on groups making more than 10,000 cars.

The loss-making group recently signed a “technical partnership” with Mercedes-maker Daimler AG, which also makes the whizzy Smart Car.