Aston Martin wants to adopt a similar business strategy to Ferrari.
Aston Martin has been facing challenging times lately. After suffering huge financial losses, the automaker appointed Canadian billionaire and Racing Point F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll as executive chairman as part of a $324 million investment. With the coronavirus pandemic halting production, Aston Martin's financial troubles may not be over yet. Speaking with Autocar, CEO Andy Palmer has revealed how Stroll's investment and new role at Aston Martin will help turn the company's fortunes around.
Effectively, Aston Martin wants to become a "British Ferrari." To achieve this, Aston Martin will adopt a similar business model to the Italian automaker by selling fewer cars, but making higher profits in the process.
Last year, Aston Martin built 5,800 sports cars, but Palmer confirmed: "we'll do fewer in 2020." Palmer hopes that Stroll's experience as a Ferrari importer will help Aston Martin achieve similar success as the Italian automaker.
"It's time for us to make good and try to become the British Ferrari, asking customers to spec their cars individually and wait for them to be built. The DBX is already showing how we mean to go on. We're building those cars only for retail and our order book for 2020 is full," Palmer concluded.
As part of Aston Martin's revised product plan, the launch of the new Lagonda luxury electric car brand has been delayed until 2022, but Palmer emphasized the new brand is "far from dead".
We've finished the Rapide E engineering, learned a ton of stuff from it and its IP remains with us. But we've taken the opportunity to write down the capital expenditure of the electrification work. We've had some difficult years. We have to decide what our new priorities are."
Instead, Aston Martin is prioritizing its new mid-engine model range, with launch of the Valkyrie this year followed by the Valhalla in 2022 and Vanquish in 2023. Palmer added that Aston Martin is developing new 3.0-liter V6 hybrid and plug-in powertrains that will be added to the entire model lineup "as soon as possible."
Before then, Aston Martin's biggest priority is the launch of the new DBX SUV, which will become Aston Martin's most important model since it will be a major profit-booster. "We have to ensure that DBX's quality is perfect from the very first deliveries," Palmer said.