Aston Martin may be looking to make its cars more desirable by making them more rare. Is this case of good supply and demand or a history lesson not learned?
We have already seen the ultra exclusive One-77, which will be limited to a production run of 77 models priced at about $1.75 million each. Now it’s rumored that the DB9 and Vantage replacements will be getting a bump in price and a drop in production. When these replacements show up (right now rumored in 2011,) each may gain around $85,000 to the sticker — moving the Vantage into DB9 range and the DB9 into DBS range.
This move may already be something that Aston Martin has been planning for a while. The Rapide is rumored to possibly cost as much as $400,000, easily pricing it away from the Lamborghini Estoque and Porsche Panamera it has currently been compared against.
While lowering production may help the cars gain exclusivity, this is an area where Astons has not had great success. Before Ford bought Aston Martin in 1987 (complete buyout in 1994,) the British carmaker was known for its high style and low volume cars. There had only been about 5,000 cars produced in the two decades before the sale to Ford, and that meant there was usually very little capital available to develop new models. In that period, Aston went through multiple owners who could not turn a profit on the company and quality seriously suffered.
Maybe the current Kuwaiti owners of Aston Martin want to think twice before returning the company to less production. Although Ford may have diluted the brand by upping the production numbers (Aston sold 6,000 DB9s and 7,000 Vantages last year,) it also made the car brand more legitimate than it had been since the days of the DB5.