Aston Martin, the Next Porsche?
Recently Aston Martin has been in the news quite a bit, most recently for the newest addition to the Aston family, the DBS. They were recently sold by Ford to David Richard, who is the current chairman of Prodrive (Prodrive has no financial backing in Aston Martin even though they do provide aftermarket products for Astons) along with a few other wealthy backers, including Ford, who kept a small stake in the company. The question that has been raised lately is, where is the company heading? Are they really going to be the next big thing? Can they possibly be the next Porsche of the automotive world? My answer, yes! Aston Martin is rapidly showing that, with, Dr. Ulrich Bez as their CEO they took a lot more from Ford than anyone could ever have expected, and that Bez has a clear healthy vision for the old British company.
Ford was able to provide a safe money background to help shape Aston Martin into what it is currently. Jaguar was the engine supplier for the new V8 Vantage, and they will remain that way for a while. With Ford still owning a small stake in Aston Martin, that means that Ford can get some benefits but, Aston can keep all of the materials they used Ford for.
Why compare them to Porsche you ask? Simple, Porsche is like the New York Yankees of the automotive world. Hate them as much as you want and they can still kick your ass to the top of the mountain and back. They may struggle from time to time but they are a dynasty and will remain that way. Porsche makes somewhere in the ballpark of 26,000 dollars in profit off of each one of their cars they build and sell. While most automakers are lucky to make a thousand, Porsche is able to consistently make some of the most reliable and impressive pieces in the business.
I believe Aston Martin is well on its automotive way to becoming the next big thing and be the next company to take the exotic sports car business to a whole new level. With cars like the DBS and the Rapide debuting with as much buzz as they are (the DBS was the car used in the latest James Bond film “Casino Royale”) Aston has already proven they can add to a market that has few cars. When the Vanquish debuted in 2001 the world was in awe at what came from an Aston Martin assembly plant. Could this be an Aston Martin? When Aston was producing the DB7 and losing the publics interest by the day, the Vanquish came along and grabbed everyone by the balls and showed them what Aston could really do with beautiful craftsmanship, and a bad ass V12. While the DB9 and the V8 Vantage are selling like hot cakes and looking absolutely gorgeous, new model variations have already debuted to add more spunk, like the DB9 Sport Pack to add some more enthusiast style feel to the car, along with what came out at the Frankfurt Auto show, the V8 Vantage N400 and DB9 LM, both with the Sports Pack to promote a more race inspired driving experience.
Bottom line is that Aston Martin is well on its way to becoming the company it was founded to be, an exotic enthusiasts car for the people who care. Expect Porsche and Ferrari to at least have a little pee trickling down their legs wondering if Aston can really bring to the table what they have already showed us. They have already proven that they themselves are up to the challenge to change and become more exciting. Are you up to that challenge of taking them more seriously? I would be if I were you.