You'll notice that Aston Martin still exists. But for volume manufacturers, it has been a slow and bumpy learning curve and, ultimately, a cruel destiny.
Amazon Robo Taxi (we just say ART) long ago supplanted Uber (a big deal in your day) and ate the lunch of yellow cabs in New York and black cabs in London.
Volume automakers such as Truly Great American Cars, the 2027 combine of Ford and General Motors, are fighting with their last cent to compete for ART's next tender, due next year and rumored to call for global delivery of 27.5 million units annually over five years.
TGAC, as well as VWPSO (VW took over PSA and Opel) and the two Japan-centric constellations, Andromeda (Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi-Honda) and Hercules (Toyota-Mazda-Suzuki-Subaru), were caught by surprise four years ago when China's Geely won the previous ART tender. After buying Fiat Chrysler in 2021, Geely grew to be the world's fifth-largest automaker behind Andromeda, Hercules, TGAC and VWPSO.
Out of the blue, Geely won the 2033 ART tender, which called for 25 million vehicles a year for the 2035-39 period. Li Shufu (the former boy wonder, now 74) was able to maintain his volume business at full speed while the other big competitors had to cut plants and people. The cash generated from those 125 million units Geely delivered to ART permitted Geely Luxury Collection to continue to invest and expand its premium brand portfolio. Bit by bit, GLC has added Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Jeep, Maserati and Land Rover to its initial stable of Lotus, Polestar and Volvo.
Meanwhile, BMW Group and Daimler five years ago regrouped under Premium Auto Union Uber Alles, uniting their r&d, manufacturing and purchasing efforts to compete with GLC. But this has created some tensions. Auto journalists and early customers are complaining that the eighth-generation E-class sedan is just a badge-engineering of the 10th-generation 5 series launched six months ago.