WHAT would 007 say? Aston Martin, the car-maker of choice for the spy who famously drove a DB5 equipped with an ejection seat, is to abandon its focus on testosterone-driven sports cars and try to appeal to women buyers.
Andy Palmer, the recently installed chief executive of the marque, is looking to open up the company’s appeal by targeting a wider range of potential buyers.
Palmer is adapting to modern buying trends that he says put women in the driving seat when it comes to choosing a car.
The former Nissan executive, who joined Warwickshire-based Aston Martin in October, said: “Without being patronising about it, women today control variously around the world between 60% and 80% of the buy decision on a new car.” And car-makers are bad at providing what women want from a car, something he believes needs to be addressed.
“As an industry, we’re pretty poor at ticking the boxes that satisfy a woman customer and we tend to view cars for women as ‘pink it and shrink it’ – add a place to hold your handbag, add a place to put your shoes – which I think is quite cynical,” he said.
However, the marque has ruled out following other luxury car-makers – most recently Rolls-Royce – with a move into the fast-growing sports utility vehicle sector.
Aston Martin has already revealed plans to make its new Lagonda Taraf saloon more widely available, having originally planned to only offer the car in the Middle East.
The Aston Martin Taraf saloon will now be marketed in Europe and other select global markets, including Singapore and South Africa.
Palmer said: “Opening up the Lagonda Taraf to an increased number of customers around the world was a high priority for me as soon as I joined Aston Martin late last year.
“I wanted to be able to offer this exceptional saloon to the potential owners from around the globe who have been inquiring about it, and I’m very happy that we have been able to expand the Lagonda proposition.”
Aston Martin has failed to match the sales success that other ultra-premium carmakers have enjoyed over the past few years.
Its annual sales have dwindled to about 4 000, from a peak of more than 7 000.
Palmer was taken on by the company, founded in 1913, with a remit to reverse its recent poor performance.
– The Telegraph