The British luxury brand will take on Ferrari with some help from the Germans.
Despite a plethora of financial woes, it seems Aston Martin is finally pivoting to profitability. In 2021, sales increased by 115% in the United States, a key market for the brand. Part of this incredible success is down to the company's first-ever SUV, the DBX, but it can also be attributed to new leadership in the form of Lawrence Stroll and Tobias Moers.
But as the era of electromobility beckons, the Gaydon-based automaker will need to adapt to survive. Aston Martin will reportedly take advantage of its relationship with shareholder Mercedes-Benz to transition over to electric vehicles where it hopes to flourish. With the ultra-luxury carmaker poised to release its first EV in 2025, this strategic partnership should come in handy, reports Reuters.
Executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said, "It was really important for a company of this size, particularly with electrification coming ... to have a big brother. So I did a ... transformational deal with Mercedes-Benz [to] get their electric architecture." The German automaker has several EVs currently available, with the EQS positioned as the range-topper. "Mercedes will be the base of whatever we do," he added.
But to fund the costly transition over to electrification, Aston Martin needs to continue on an upward trajectory. The company has already said its 2023 models will be drastically different. Still, the brand needs to do more if it wants to be profitable and, importantly, give Ferrari and Lamborghini a run for their money. As such, a mid-engined supercar is planned for next year.
Moers has adopted a different approach since joining the company. Like the Italian carmakers it's aiming to beat, Aston Martin is now chasing profit by focusing on custom orders and higher-value vehicles - not conventional high-end sports cars.
Aston Martin's present-day success will lay the foundation for its electric future. Still, this comes with another set of problems. "More of the people that are our customers today, who are more petrol heads, want to see, feel, hear and smell a combustion engine for a long time," said Stroll.
Industry experts fear Aston Martin isn't long for this world. Equity research analyst Charles Coldicott remarked that the British marque lacks Ferrari's appeal, adding "If you put a gun to my head, I would say my base case is Mercedes will acquire the business," he said. "I do not know at what price, but I imagine it will be significantly lower than today's price."
We certainly hope this isn't the case; Aston Martin makes some of the world's most beautiful cars and it would be a shame for it to disappear. Hopefully, Mercedes-Benz's influence can help the company remain profitable and survive well beyond the electric era.