RAC Cars News


Bond Car Brand Plans Renaissance

By raccars Published

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British luxury sports car manufacturer, Aston Martin, has undergone something of a turbulent time in recent years but is currently planning a major renaissance, assisted by a brand new design strategy, fresh modern technology and a complete new model range.

The brand's once super cool and stylish image, indelibly linked with smooth British secret agent, James Bond, through a number of film appearances, has been dented somewhat in the last few years by criticism of a confused model range and some very dodgy financial results. Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford created the company in 1913 and by the 1950s, the Aston Martin name was synonymous with luxury grand tourers. The brand's relationship with the James Bond character began in 1964, when a DB5 became the spy's car of choice in the film Goldfinger.

The firm's heyday was arguably from 1947-1972, with David Brown at the helm. However, financial ruin in the form of bankruptcy followed soon after. The firm struggled on, regaining some success under the ownership of Ford, from 1994-2007. The company was then purchased by the Prodrive investment consortium but once again faced turbulence. In 2012, Investindustrial, a private equity fund from Italy, invested heavily in the firm and it's with this cash, and an alliance with Mercedes-AMG, that Aston Martin is hoping to taste once again some of its former glories.

With Mercedes-AMG's input, Aston Martin should have access to new technology and components along with a new 4.0 litre V8 twin turbo engine, that will underpin the brand's whole range. Aston should also be able to move forward into hybrid territory, which is becoming an essential part of premium manufacturers' product range.

The brand is taking Ferrari as its inspiration for this corporate push, and the new offensive is already underway, with the development of an all new, AMG powered, DB9, that should reach the market by the end of 2016. This model will be the cornerstone of a new model line up that will see the introduction of a new vehicle architecture and the V8 and V12 Vantage and the Vanquish replaced.

While this whole operation is a very expensive undertaking, which has seen the firm borrow significant sums to achieve, Aston Martin, which posted financial results in the red only last year, seems confident that the risky project will see it able to declare profits within a few years.

The new product plans still include an SUV, but this is very much still a possibility rather than a probability, with the bulk of the investment cash directed towards revitalising Aston Martin's core sports car business.

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