Prediction: Aston Martin Cars Will Get More Expensive Post Pandemic
At this point, even those living under the most obscure rock know that almost every automotive company – aside from Tesla it seems – took a major hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aston Martin was on the bad side of that too, with sales down some 64-percent in the first half of 2020 and a total revenue of just £146 million. The company’s plan to bounce back includes “rebalancing supply to demand” and reducing production of key sports car lines to focus more on the DBX SUV. Part of this profitability increase means cutting 500 jobs, but I also see a hidden message that says “give us more money.” Let me explain.
Aston Martin Secures Big Investment for the DBX, Returns to F1 as Works Team
Aston Martin has been an independent company for the majority of its time on the market. But surviving as an independent brand is tough, so it’s not surprising that the British company has gone bankrupt seven times in its history. Although it’s somewhat stable nowadays, Aston Martin only recently became profitable and went public in 2018.
With a new recession looming in, the company’s shareholders have approved a financial rescue package from Yew Tree, a Canadian consortium led by Lawrence Stroll. The £536 million ($659 million) investment from the Yew Tree consortium led by Stroll will help Aston Martin put the DBX into production.
Aston Martin and Mercedes to Part Ways Over the Death of AMG’s V-8
For those of you living under a rock for the last decade, Aston Martin has long borrowed Mercedes-AMG’s V-8 for its sports cars. That very engine powers the Vantage, DB11, and even the new DBX, but that’s also a big problem because Mercedes-AMG is working on slowly phasing out its V-8 engine. That leaves Aston Martin to either suck it up and transition to four-cylinders – something that won’t happen for a long time to come, if ever – or come up with its own new powertrain. Well, as you probably already guessed, Aston is taking the better route and is now preparing to develop an electrified V-6 engine for use in most of its future cars.
2019 Was a Bad Year For Aston Martin and At Least One Model is Paying the Price
Despite the introduction of the DBX, 2019 was a very tough year for Aston Martin, which posted a pre-tax loss of $118 million through September of 2019. Now, Aston Martin has warned that its annual profit for 2019 will be cut in half, while Reuters is reporting that December sales were so disappointing that wholesale volumes dropped by seven percent in 2019. All told, annual profits for 2019 (converted from GBP to USD) will sit between about $170 million and $182 million - a far cry from the company’s $325 million profit in 2018.
Financial figures being what they are, that means there are going to be some big financial changes for the company in 2020, including a cost-cutting program that puts at least one model on the guillotine.
Join the AMR Drivers’ Club and Aston Martin Will Teach You How to Really Drive Your Sports Car
Aston Martin wants its clients to not baby their cars anymore and, instead, head to the track and hone their skills to extract everything out of their sports cars. That’s why the British automaker launched the AMR Drivers’ Club that will tour some of Europe’s top tracks and teach Aston owners how to drive better. The program could, potentially, help some of you become legitimate race car drivers.
The program offers a number of levels divided into three areas: AMR Experience, AMR Academy, and AMR GT Academy. From learning how to drive your own car as fast as you can, to tasting other Aston-Martin products, including the 2019 Vantage GT4, everything is possible through this program - if you can afford it. Then again, if you can afford to own an Aston-Martin, you can probably afford to track it too.
Aston Martin announced that it was selling the design and tooling for its Vanquish model, but it didn’t specify who it was sold to for £20-million or around $26-million. Now, a new report indicates that the buyer was, in fact, low volume car manufacturer Morgan. Morgan has since announced new models. The math seems pretty simple here, right?
Aston Martin Rakes in $26 Million for Tooling and Design Drawings for the Vanquish
While preparing for its IPO on the London Stock Exchange earlier this month, Aston Martin released a share prospectus targeting potential investors. In this 321-page document, the automaker has revealed some interesting tidbits that were not publically revealed earlier. The one that caught our attention was a $26-million deal wherein someone bought the tooling and design drawings of the outgoing Vanquish grand tourer.
Project Neptune: Aston Martin and Triton Reveal Finalized Design For New Submarine
If I had the money, I think my first big toy (after the race car, of course) would be a submarine. The idea of flying under the waves, exploring the mysteries of the deep… it’s all just so cool. Of course, to do it up proper, you’d need the right machine, not some spartan tin can with a periscope attached to the roof. Now, it looks like Aston Martin and Triton have just the ticket with this multi-million-dollar luxury submersible dubbed Project Neptune, which was just revealed in its final production form this week.
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Caving Under Pressure: The Detroit Auto Show May, In Fact, Move to October
The Detroit Auto Show is on the cusp of a long-overdue decision that will effectively move the show out of the winter doldrums of January into a later month with a far more inviting climate. Nothing is official yet, but there’s growing momentum that America’s most esteemed auto show will be moved from January to October beginning in 2020. A decision is expected to be made in the coming weeks as the Detroit Auto Dealers Association is scheduled to vote on uprooting the show from its winter roots and moving it to the fall.
Aston Martin CEO Throws Shade at Dyson, Calls Its Targets "Unachievable"
Add Andy Palmer to the list of people who are skeptical about Dyson’s ambitious timetable to roll out an electric car by 2020. The Aston Martin CEO made his opinions known in a conversation with Autocar, highlighting some underlying issues that all startup automakers face when they try to break into one of the most competitive industries in the world. Dyson, according to Palmer, isn’t exempt from these issues, especially when it’s trying to achieve its goals on an accelerated timetable.
Report: Don’t Expect to see a Plug-In Hybrid from Aston Martin Anytime Soon
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has steered the British automaker into prosperous waters on the back of an aggressive push to become a bigger player in the premium car market. The company has so far pushed the right buttons, but just because Aston’s fortunes are rolling at the moment, it doesn’t mean the company’s going to enter segments that it has no plans of going into. One of those segments is the plug-in hybrid sect, and if Palmer is to be believed, plug-in hybrid Aston Martins are not included in the company’s plans.
Chris Goodwin Jumps Ship To Aston Martin After 20-Year Run at McLaren
Chris Goodwin, McLaren’s legendary chief test driver, is jumping ship to Aston Martin. The 50-year old British race car driver is expected to play a key role in the development of Aston Martin’s Valkyrie hypercar after spending the last 20 years helping turn McLaren into the thriving supercar company that it is today.
Aston Martin Could End Up on the Stock Market Real Soon
Aston Martin’s reemergence as a force in the auto industry has the company thinking big. It’s not big in the sense of a new supercar or hypercar. It’s big in the sense of floating the company on the stock market. According to Reuters, Aston Martin’s major shareholders, Italian private equity fund Investindustrial and a group of Kuwaiti investors, are looking to cash in on the brand’s rising sales. Investment bank Lazard has been brought in to work on a preliminary plan that could either result in an initial public offering (IPO) or a trade sale to a separate automaker.
New Aston Martin Vantage Sold Out for 2018!
The second-generation Aston Martin Vantage just made its public debut last week, and we’re still in awe of its fantastic design, incredible interior, and tremendous performance. But it seems we’re not the only ones impressed by it. Enthusiasts have taken Aston Martin’s recently opened preorder books by storm and purchased the entire production run for 2018. Yup, if you want one of these babies and haven’t placed an order yet, you won’t be able to take it home until 2019. Impressively enough, it’s been only a few days since it went on sale. And it’s not cheap either, retailing for around $150,000.
"Most of our production for next year is already sold out," Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said in an interview, according to Bloomberg. And even he declined to specify production figures, it’s safe to assume, at least based on previous production figures, that Aston Martin will build around 2,000 Vantages in 2018, if not more. The first deliveries are scheduled to arrive in the second quarter of 2018.
The announcement comes only a few days after the British company reported a pretax profit of £22 million (about $29.3 million) for the first nine months of 2017. Sales were up 84 percent to 567 million pounds compared to the same period of 2016, when Aston Martin posted a loss. The Vantage is expected to increase sales even farther and eventually help the company establish a record of profitability ahead of going public.
Aston Martin Could Be In Trouble If Brexit Pushes Through With No Trade Deal In Place With The European Union
As much progress as Aston Martin has had in recent years of re-establishing itself as one of the best marquee brands in the world, everything it has built could come crumbling down by forces that are completely out of its control. Welcome, then, to the affairs of the present-day United Kingdom, where the looming Brexit move continues to hover over the whole country like a dark and foreboding cloud. Any and all British companies could be affected by it, and Aston Martin has made it clear that if the U.K. fails to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union, the British automaker would have to stop production of its cars in the U.K., effectively stalling its business until the issues are settled.
The doomsday scenario is a very real one for Aston Martin has no less than finance chief, Mark Wilson, described it as having a “semi-catastrophic effect” on the company. A big part of Aston’s concern focuses on having to recertify approvals with other regions so they can sell their cars in those markets. That includes Chinese approval in China, approval on a federal level in the U.S., or E.U. approval, should it come to the point that the company would need to apply for one. If it does come to that, Wilson admitted that it would mean that Aston would have to temporarily stop its production. The issue isn’t as big of a deal today since the U.K. is still technically part of the E.U. But if Brexit does happen without some kind of trade deal in place, the validity of all U.K.-made cars that are headed to E.U. will be in limbo. And if Aston Martin can’t move these units, it’s not going to make them in the first place, hence the potential of a cease in production. Clearly, the political uncertainty of Brexit comes at a horrendous time for Aston Martin has the automaker has just started to pick up momentum in its goal of reinventing itself as a prized automaker. This situation is still fluid, though, so anything can still happen but, if worst comes to worst, it might be prudent to start preparing for situations like this. And, I’m not just talking about Aston Martin; I’m talking about the U.K.’s entire trade infrastructure with the whole world getting thrown into chaos.
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You Need a Lot of Money To Even Sniff A One-Off Aston Martin
Like most premium automakers that have deep-pocketed customers at their disposal, Aston Martin knows the value of diversifying its lineup to keep its clients on their toes. As rivals like Ferrari, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce have shown, one way to do that is to offer one-off models that no other person will get to own. Aston Martin has actually done this exercise in the past courtesy of its Prototype Operation division, having created the CC100 Speedster in 2013 to celebrate the marque’s 100th anniversary. Now it looks like the one-off offers are back on the table, provided that customers fork up at least £2 million for each car. By the way, that converts to $2.6 million in today’s exchange rates. Gulp.
Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, made the proclamation in a conversation with Road & Track, raising a lot of eyebrows in the process. There is one other catch though to getting Aston Martin to build a one-off. Palmer said that on top of paying the steep price to even get considered for one, interested customers would also have to wait in line for their turn because Aston is only building two of them per year. And, just in case that condition still suits someone with deep pockets and a longing for one-off creations, the official wait, at this point, is around two years since the next four slots are already accounted for. Still, if patience is a virtue, two years isn’t a long time to wait for a car that literally nobody else in this world is going to own. Just make sure to keep that £2 million locked away somewhere.
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Aston Martin Project Neptune: It’s Going to be Slow, but we Bet You’ll Want It
Aston Martin is no stranger to stepping outside of its usual niche of producing gorgeous, powerful, and outright amazing sports cars. In just the last year or so, Aston has stepped up to deliver things like the Aston Martin AM37 Powerboat, a pair of Aston Martin driving shoes, and it’s even building its own residential tower at the mouth of the Miami River in Florida. This time around, however, we’re here to talk about something just a little more out of the ordinary, something that floats, something that dives, something that says James Bond Doesn’t need a Lotus to take a luxurious dip in the process of his next mission. We’re talking about the Aston Martin Project Neptune – a submarine that is to be birthed from a collaboration between Aston Martin and Triton, thanks to the first project put together and managed by Aston Martin Consulting.
With that in mind, it’s Aston Martin Consulting’s job to make sure the brand named isn’t tarnished through this collaboration by ensuring that the brand’s essence is thrust onto the new project with all of Aston Martin’s fundamental design qualities – ultimately bringing the luxury and style of Aston Martin cars to the submarine sector. Who would have thought, right? Keep reading to check out what the new Aston Martin Submarine will look like and learn more about the Triton model it is based on.
Aston Martin Throws Down The Hammer On Flipping Valkyrie Reservation Slots
If any of you happen to have a reserved slot for the Aston Martin Valkyrie, don’t even think about flipping that slot just so you can make easy money out of it. Well, you could still do it technically, but if Aston Martin catches you - a good chance it will - you’ll not only lose your reservation slot, but you’ll also get the door shut on you on any future Aston Martin special edition models. Permanently.
That edict comes from no less than Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, who responded to a tweet showing a Dubai-based dealership selling a “build slot” for the Valkyrie. In his own words, Palmer said: "I doubt they have a slot, but if they do and we identify who flipped, they lose the car." As if that’s not enough, if Aston catches anybody with their hands inside the proverbial cookie jar, they also lose out on any future special edition models the British automaker may build. The lesson then here is quite simple: don’t flip those build slots if you want to remain in the company’s good graces. If you do decide to go for it and you end up getting caught, I can’t imagine a worse punishment in this circumstance than losing out on buying the Valkyrie.
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You Better Keep Your Figure If You Want To Fit Inside The Aston Martin Valkyrie
To say there are tons of details involved in the development of a hypercar is tantamount to a huge understatement. Some companies even resort to things that could be described as gimmicks to get their point across. Take Aston Martin for example. We already know that it’s developing the Valkyrie hypercar with Red Bull Racing and that the car is about the closest thing we have to a road-going Formula One car. But apparently, the level of personalization attached to the Valkyrie has reached a point wherein owners of the car are required to have their bodies 3D scanned so Aston Martin can develop a personalized driver’s seat. Owners might find it difficult to indulge on unnecessary midnight snacks if they want to continue to fit in the car.
Aston Martin didn’t give a reason behind this odd requirement, except that it’s probably doing it to maximize the driving potential of the Valkyrie. The company did say the Valkyrie is being developed to be the most dynamic hypercar in the land, even if it’s not the fastest. A big part of keeping that objective in mind is apparently to design a driver’s seat that’s personalized to the car owner’s body type. That basically means owners better keep their bodies in the shape that they’re in when Aston Martin has it 3D scanned. Go too far in either direction and you might not end up fitting in it as comfortably as you’d like. In the annals of the unusual, this definitely ranks right up there at the top.
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The Aston Martin AM-RB 001 Can Reportedly Hit 200 MPH in just 10 Seconds
Many of us believe the Aston Martin AM-RB 001 hypercar is going to be the most intense vehicles ever built. It’s been tipped to produce 1,000 horsepower while carrying a curb weight of just 1,000 kilos (2,205 pounds). It’s also going to feature one of the most aerodynamically designed hypercars in history, all thanks to head designer Adrian Newey. For his part, Newey dropped yet another bombshell about the AM-RB 001, telling the Wall Street Journal that the hypercar is estimated to sprint from 0 to 200 mph in just 10 seconds. If that’s not enough, the AM-RB 001 can reportedly go the other way, stopping from 200 mph to a standstill in an incredible five seconds.
For comparison’s sake, the Koenigsegg One:1, considered as the world’s first megacar, went on some performance runs back in July 2015 and clocked in a 0-to-200 mph time of 14.3 seconds before braking back to a standstill position in 6.384 seconds. You don’t need to be a math genius to estimate that the AM-RB 001 would be a little over four seconds faster than the One:1 in a race to 200 mph and it could break faster to zero in a little over a second.
Of course, the AM-RB 001’s numbers still needs to be verified, especially after these bold proclamations. Those numbers were reportedly achieved through computer simulations, so those numbers could look much different when the actual AM-RB 001 hits the track and tries to set those speeds in real-world driving conditions.
But let’s not get too sideways into thinking this hypercar, co-developed by Aston Martin and Red Bull, will be a disappointment. Every measure imaginable points to the AM-RB 001 being one of the sickest cars the auto industry has ever seen, even if it doesn’t live up to those eye-popping performance numbers that are now being thrown around.
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