British sports automaker Aston Martin has downsized production plans for its first electric model after the partner LeEco pulled out of the task, CEO Andy Palmer informed Reuters on Monday.
The outcome, however, might be a lot more exclusive car, targeted at customers who think about Tesla’s top of the range $130,000 Model S to be a little too common.
Aston Martin will develop no more than 155 of its RapidE, about a 3rd of the initial strategy, and lean much more on Formula One engineering specialist Williams after the withdrawal of LeEco, Palmer stated.
The setback and Aston’s reaction highlight the challenges and dangers niche automakers face as they rush to deal with future demand for electrification from customers and regulators.
While the privately held Aston Martin brand take advantage of the endorsement of fictitious spy James Bond, it lacks the backing of a large automotive parent that many competitors enjoy.
“We have decided to make this automobile rare, which will obviously tend to push the cost higher,” Palmer stated. “Aston Martin now prepares to proceed independently, funding more advancement of RapidE by ourselves.”
Palmer agreed to talk after the sources told Reuters Aston Martin’s partnership with LeEco had deciphered.
Revealing the alliance in February last year, LeEco and Aston vowed to launch an all-electric variation of the Rapide S sedan in next year. However the Chinese conglomerate has since cut its electric automobile investments, including its U.S. startup Faraday Future’s projected $1.3 billion factory in Nevada.