Aston Martin goes to the future survival

Aston Martin logoNot too long ago took to produce the Aston Martin Rapide from Austria to England , a move that can only be explained by excess production capacity in Gaydon. And in terms of truly new models remains frighteningly quiet. There seems to be in the foreseeable future, plenty of work to be for the British brand.

Since the Ford brand in 2007 from hand made ​​Aston Martin has no more large parent company behind them. This is different than in Ferrari (Fiat), Lamborghini (VAG) and Porsche (VAG, 49%), which is considerably easier to invest and make use of existing technology. Moreover, in such cases present a buffer for when the business is running as bad as the past few years, when Bentley was the case.
Anyway, back to Aston Martin: the termination of the contract with Austria’s Magna Steyr (six years before maturity) on the production Rapide she reportedly (besides lots of losing face) £ 10 million cost. Since the crisis really hit the end of 2008, sales of Aston Martin almost halved. It sold Aston Martin last year 4299 cars. Set this against the nearly 100,000 who annually makes a Porsche, and the power relations are clear.

With sales of 584 million euros (509 million pounds) is approximately one tenth AM what Porsche is doing. Here, the company drew an EBITDA of 112 million euros. In addition, a small 350 million raised through the issuance of bonds. A nice sum, but much of this is already a destination: paying off a bank loan (225 million) and the payment of a dividend of 35 million euros. The yield is therefore mainly used to repay old debts and to refinance existing debt. EBITDA of 100 million + looks nice, but ultimately it is the net result that counts.

As such, smaller production numbers are not a disaster, but you have to at some point have come up with something new and focus on key growth markets. And that is exactly what we do not get Aston. The company still lacks its own dealer network in China, and keeps building on an old platform (the VH platform) where the rack so sometimes off by now. As a manufacturer in the super high end segment you can afford to take more than the middle-class cars. Not for nothing Lamborghini more than 10 years with his models (including facelift in between) before something really news. Little fine grinding here, some extra horsepower there, little merchandise upon, and particularly fast milk out in the form of special editions is a tested recipe in this segment. However, 20 years as a model, with some modifications, to keep the market as before, it really works anymore.

The flip side of it (want to) do at the top is that technology really the cream of the crop should be. With less than perfection, you will just not there. Aston Martin is still pretty lean on good design, and the strong appeal that the brand has with its customers, but at some point your image is obviously not in line with the (technological) quality you provide. As one analyst recently in the Business Week said:

“The models are starting to have a Slight whiff of Sunday dinner being overused in sandwiches later in the week. [..] It leaves the impression of a company stretching as far as it can Itself. They operate in the industry in That, with Their Competitors, they’re really need to be cutting edge. “

Keep this in mind so that it lasts a year or two, before a new platform. Then there’s the story Lagonda, then announced with great fanfare and even part of the company name of Aston Martin, but in practical terms we have still seen nothing of zero point. Ok, there is a crossover concept . What is the exact reason for doing is telling the Brits just yet, but probably he is NOT in production .
In the short term there is not much going on with Aston Martin, but in the long run it would help make a line or two to use. One is a publicly traded company, so that soon everyone can buy an Aston Martin. This idea plays AM all times , but the wait “at the right time.”

Option two is a collaboration with a larger manufacturer. The most obvious party Daimler. Since the separation of Ford talked about a possible collaboration between the two parties. Daimler Maybach as high-end brand, but this branch is not exactly good. A collaboration with Aston Martin (below the flag Lagonda?) Seems unlikely. On the other hand, is already whispering about four years, but we have nothing concrete from the rumors are to be discerned.

The coming months should just keep doing what Aston is good at it, gorgeous cars with that unique Aston Martin to appeal, it will still sell. Only behind the scenes will do what is rapidly modernizing to be put in motion, because the stretch is at some point anyway really.

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