Aston Martin has always been a pioneer in automobile designs. Their DB5 is perhaps one of the most beautiful cars of all times, made popular by their role as James Bond’s preferred drive. While the company has always had massive success with the male demographic, the company feels like they could do better with the ladies.
The chief executive of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, Andrew Palmer, has expressed in an interview his desire to see the century old sports-car manufacturer to become a luxury brand, with a diverse arsenal of products ranging from luggage, watches and clothing to even boats and perhaps hotels. A former Nissan Motor Co. executive, Palmer joined the British firm back in October last year. He was quoted in an interview saying, “Whereas perhaps historically we’ve made beautiful sports cars, as we move forward we see ourselves much more in the luxury space than in the pure automotive space.”
With men accounting for 95% of Aston Martins sold in the recent times, it indeed would be a good strategy for the brand to try to attract more women buyers, he said. The company also has a virtual model customer in place, and an all-female board has been set-up for advisory and assistance on the new model. The company’s expansion in the luxury segment is targeting a valuation at higher earnings, much higher than its current reach. Palmer also stated that Aston Martin might end up being sold to a luxury group, and that it would be a welcome decision. He says that Aston Martin cars are as much luxury items as they are automobiles, which certainly reflects in the price tag. The Vulcan super car costs more than $2 million, and even the cheaper models are upwards of $100,000.
A popular opinion has also surfaced that Mr. Palmer’s plan for Aston Martin reflects the same effort by Sergio Marchionne, CEO Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, who tried to enact the same strategy for Ferrari. Although the two do seem similar, the accuracy of this opinion is yet to be established.
Cars such as the Mini Cooper Clubman, Volkswagen Beetle and Fiat 500 have always attracted the fairer sex in general due to their relatively compact dimensions and objectively cute design. When compared to the clean yet distinctively masculine design of the current Aston Martins, such as the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage, one can understand how and why the new approach would function. Even in the sports car segment, manufacturers like Porsche usually holds the ladies’ attention with cars like the 718 Convertible.
Aston Martin hasn’t had much profit over the years. According to a news report, Aston Martin’s revenue in 2014 was £468 million, 10% down on the previous year. Research and Development, which has been in full swing lately, also chomps down on a lot of funds. With a design dedicated to the cause, Aston might be able to turn their failing fortunes into profits once again. This also follows the heels of the Aston Martin’s suspension of import license in China, which also saw sale plummet from 7,200 in 2007 to 4,000 cars in 2014.