FB W468 X H245 EVOLTN
6. Atom
3. coal scuttle
3b. Hill climb
1. Robert Bamford
2. Lionel Martin

Having stared down the barrel of bankruptcy 7 times, Aston Martin rebounds to new heights. Its successful public listing provided the ammo to roll out 7 new cars in a time frame of just 7 years.

YEARS OF LOSSES

Despite the considerable fanfare the brand enjoys, Aston Martin’s centennial in 2013 was not welcomed amidst happy circumstances. The company was consistently making losses since 2010, a trend it would not reverse until as recently as 2017.

Indeed, the numbers from those seven dark years made for grim reading – the company sold 4,200 cars in its centennial year, posting a loss of GBP 25.4 million in the process. The following year saw sales drop even further to 3,661 and losses nearly tripling to GBP 71.8 million. It was dire times indeed for the glorified brand, and circumstances called for drastic manoeuvring to salvage the situation.

SECOND CENTURY PLAN

Andy Palmer’s appointment as Aston Martin’s CEO in 2014 was the catalyst of many major changes in the company. Celebrating its centenary in 2013, the company unveiled their Second Century Plan as a cornerstone of its turnaround efforts.

The plan’s basic idea is to make the company’s luxury-oriented business sustainable by and Palmer had plenty to do with it. Execution of the plan, meanwhile, is elegantly broken down into three main phases starting with the stabilization of the company’s business, followed by strengthening of its core, before ultimately expanding the product portfolio.

Andy Palmer 02

BUSINESS STABILISATION

Before any turnaround is to materialize, Aston Martin needed money, and to do that, the company floated a quarter of its shares on the London Stock Exchange in October 2018, first by any UK automaker since the 1980s. Shares were sold at GBP 19 each.

The IPO was not exactly part of the Second Century Plan, but the GBP 4.3 billion of capital raised gives Aston Martin serious ammunition to carry the plan out. It also means that the company now has a broader set of shareholders and the means to raise even more money for future expansion of the business.

But even before the money raised from the IPO, efforts of the Second Century Plan was already bearing fruit. After eight years of losses, the company has now enjoyed two successive years of profit, driven not only by more sales, but also customers willing to pay more for cars built to much-improved quality.

The first phase of the Second Century Plan was completed in 2016. During this time, the company invested heavily in new talent to strengthen company leadership as well as new technology and engineering processes to improve vehicle production.

CORE STRENGTHENING

Having stabilized the business, phase two of the Second Century Plan came into play, focusing solely on revamping the existing model line-up with fresh new products stepping in to replace a decade-old model portfolio.

A total of seven models were promised across a timespan of seven years. Having welcomed the DB11, Vantage, and DBS, we are nearly halfway through that promise. In fact, the DB11 was the first Aston Martin since 2004 to be developed from a clean slate on an all-new platform.

Model number four, which is to be the DBX, is next in line followed by the Vanquish Vision Concept, Lagonda SUV and Lagonda Saloon. Each of these seven models are planned to stay on the market for no longer than seven years.

“That’s the point where you are sustaining and growing your business by interlocking the life cycles, protected from fluctuations from economy” said Nikki Rimmington, Vice President and Chief Planning Officer of Aston Martin.

DB9 02
DB11 02
Vanquish 02

PORTFOLIO EXPANSION

Key to its planned growth, Aston Martin can no longer just focus entirely on sports cars but will have to look into penetrating other fast-growing segments, which is where we have the DBX coming in to pioneer Aston Martin’s entry into the SUV segment, whilst the Lagonda models spearhead the charge to electric motoring.

On top of the bread and butter sellers, Aston Martin also plans to continue the pipeline of unique projects similar to cc100. They plan to launch two new specials every year plus one heritage product such as the DB4GT to be launched later on this year and the DB5 in 2020.

Further facilitating the portfolio expansion phase of the Second Century Plan is the opening of a new factory opening in St. Athan, Wales where it will be coined home of electrification. Evidently, the DBX will be produced in Wales starting 2020.

UPCOMING

DBX 02
Lagonda Sedan
Lagonda SUV

“A QUALITY CAR OF GOOD PERFORMANCE AND APPEARANCE: A CAR FOR THE DISCERNING OWNER DRIVER WITH FAST TOURING IN MIND, DESIGNED, DEVELOPED, ENGINEERED AND BUILD AS AN INDIVIDUAL".

- Lionel Martin

1913

Bamford and Martin Limited founded January 13th in Henniker Mews, South Kensington, London.

1915

COAL SCUTTLE

– The first Aston Martin.

1914

3a. AM logo

First Aston Martin is registered March 16th.

The Aston Martin name is born following success at Aston Hill Climb.

1914 - 1925

Aston Martin Motors Limited is formed and sets up in Victoria Road, Feltham, Middlesex.

1934

1926

DB2

Quantity Built: 410

4. Bamford and Martin

BAMFORD & MARTIN

1927

Aston Martin feature at the Motor Show at Olympia.

5. Ulster

ULSTER

1939

ATOM PROTOTYPE

1947-1972

7. David Brown
7a. David Brown Badge

David Brown buys Aston Martin Motors Limited and Lagonda, and is appointed Chairman. Factory relocates to Hanworth Air Park, Feltham, Middlesex.

1950-1953

8. DB2

1953-1957

9. DB2 4

DB MKIII

Quantity built: 552

10. DB MKIII

DB2/4

Quantity built: 761

1957-1959

12. DBR1

1958

The lightweight superleggera (tube-frame) body, designed by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan, caused a sensation on its unveiling at the 1958 London Motor Show.

1958-1963

11. DB4

DB4

Quantity built: 1,185

1956-1959

DBR1

Quantity built: 5

LE MANS

Sweeping triumph for DAVID BROWN

1st ASTON MARTIN

2nd ASTON MARTIN

1959

The Aston Martin DBR1 wins World Sportscar Championship at:

- The 1000kms at the Nürburgring

- Le Mans

- The RAC Tourist Trophy

DB4GT ZAGATO

Quantity built: 19

1957-1959

13. DB4GT Zagato

1960

DB4GT Zagato launched at the London Motor Show.

EARLY 1960's

Sunnyside in Tickford Street, Newport Pagnell, becomes Aston Martin’s global HQ.

1963-1965

DB5

Quantity Built: 1,059

14. DB5

1964

– The DB5 features in the third James Bond film, “Goldfinger”

1965

– The DB5 features in the fourth James Bond film, “Thunderball” and records the highest domestic box-office earnings of the Bond films (to date – when adjusted for inflation).

1965-1970

15. DB6

DB6

Quantity Built: 1,788

1966

HRH Queen Elizabeth II visits the Aston Martin Lagonda factory in Newport Pagnell.

2011

Just married, HRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge drive the Aston Martin DB6 MKII Volante from Bukingham Palace.

15a. DB6 Volante

1967-1972

16. DBS

DBS

Quantity built: 1,193

The DBS features in the James Bond films: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969) and “Diamonds are Forever” (1971).

1976-1989

17. Lagonda

LAGONDA

Quantity built: 642

1976

William Towns designed Lagonda unveiled.

1977-1990

18. V8 Vantage

V8 VANTAGE

Quantity built: 458

The V8 Volante features in the James Bond Film: “The Living Daylights” (1987).

1981-1991

Victor Gauntlett is appointed Chairman after purchasing majority stake.

18a. Victor Gauntlett

1984

Peter Livanos goes into partnership with Victor Gauntlett. The company is presented with the Queen’s Award for Export.

1987

Ford Motor Company takes a 75% shareholding.

1993-2000

V8 VANTAGE

Quantity built: 288

19. V8 Vantage

1993

Wykham Mill, Bloxham facility opens to build DB7.

1994-1999

20. DB7

DB7

Quantity built: 2,461

2000-2013

Dr. Ulrich Bez is appointed Chief Executive and alter Chairman.

21. Dr. Ulrich Bez

2002

After almost 15 years, Aston Martin renews its relationship with legendary Italian coachbuilders Zagato to produce the limited edition DB7 Zagato.

2003

22. DB7 Zagato

DB7 ZAGATO

Quantity built: 99

2001-2007

23. V12 Vanquish

V12 VANQUISH

Quantity built: 2,578

The V12 Vanquish features in the James Bond film: ‘Die Another Day’ (2002).

2004 -2016

DB9 02

DB9

Quantity built: 9,500

2003

Aston Martin’s first purpose-built manufacturing facility opens at Gaydon, Warwickshire. A subtle redesign of the Aston Martin badge is introduced.

2004

28 OCTOBER

Aston Martin officially opened its dedicated engine plant in Cologne.

2005-2017

25. V8 Vantage

V8 VANTAGE

2005

26. DBR9

DBR9

Aston Martin returns to motorsport with the DBR9. Run by newly formed Aston Martin Racing, the DBR9 is designed to compete in GT1 class and is based on the road-going DB9.

2006

Company celebrates 30,000 production cars by asking 30 employees to complete 30,000 miles in 30 days with a V8 Vantage.

2007-2012

DBS

Quantity built: 2,569

The DBS V12 features in James Bond Films: ‘Casino Royale’ (2006) and ‘Quantum of Solace’ (2008).

2007

The Design Studio at Gaydon opens. Ford ownership ceases as Aston Martin is purchased by a consortium led by Investment Dar, Adeem Investment and Chairman David Richards.

2009-2017

28. V12 Vantage

V12 VANTAGE

2009

Aston Martin celebrates 50,000th production car.

2010

29. Rapide

RAPIDE

Quantity built: 2,872

2010-2012

30. One 77

ONE-77

Quantity built: 77

2011

Aston Martin voted Britain’s Coolest Brand for the 5th time in the last 6 years.

2012-2013

31. V12 Zagato

V12 ZAGATO

2012-2018

32. Vanquish

VANQUISH

2012

Leading European investment firm Investindustrial becomes a shareholder.

2013

Centenary plaque places at the birthplace of Aston Martin, Henniker Mews, London on 15 January 2013.

Aston Martin forms technical partnership with Daimler AMG on V8 engine technology and electrical architecture. They take up 5% ownership of Aston Martin.

2014

Aston Martin appoints Dr. Andy Palmer CMG as its new President and Chief Executive Officer to lead the company into its “Second Century” as a sustainable and profitable luxury compay. Seven new cars in seven years.

32a. Andy Palmer

2015

33. DB10

DB10

The DB10 features in the James Bond Film ‘Spectre’ (2015).

34. Lagonda Taraf

LAGONDA TARAF

2016

35. Vulcan

ASTON MARTIN VULCAN

Quantity built: 24

Aston Martin becomes WEC World Champions.

36. DB11

DB11

2017

37. Vantage AMR Pro

VANTAGE AMR PRO

Aston Martin starts conversion of St. Athan facility ahead of SUV production.

38. Vantage

VANTAGE

2019

39. Valkyrie

ASTON MARTIN VALKYRIE

WORDS: BENG

DOUBLE OVER SE7EN

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The struggles and tribulations that they went through over the years – seven bankruptcies and the perseverance to march on.

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After eight years of losses, the company has now enjoyed two successive years of profit.

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Aston Martin can no longer just focus entirely on sports cars but will have to look into penetrating other fast-growing segments.

FEELS

In my short two years in this industry, I’ve been blessed to have been given the chance to see many places and experience many things that most only dream about. And just as that ‘been there, done that’ feeling is starting to creep in to my mind, I was then told that I would be flying to the UK to visit Aston Martin’s HQ in Gaydon.

Cue the simultaneous outbreak of ecstasy and nervousness in my soul. Aston. Martin. I’m visiting Aston Martin. I started my homework for the trip immediately. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I was eating, sleeping and breathing Aston Martin – reading up on their history and journey to become the company that they are today.

As I read more, I became increasingly mind blown at the struggles and tribulations that they went through over the years – seven bankruptcies and the perseverance to march on without giving up. That knowledge shed a completely different light upon the trip; it sparked the curiosity within me to understand how Aston pulled off this miraculous recovery of surviving seven bankruptcies and be listed on the stock exchange.

We all know Aston Martin for their stunningly beautiful cars and roaring V12s, but behind the nitty-gritty details, between the lines of its ledger sheets, where you least expect to look, is just as meaningful a tale of a spirited brand, much loved by enthusiasts, and having risen from the ashes, poised to reach new heights and a open up a new era of success.

Google Map

By the time the seventh model of the Second Century Plan launches, Aston Martin targets to hit annual sales total of 14,000 vehicles with the new DBX and Lagonda set to account for half that volume.