2012 marks the fifth anniversary of an independently owned Aston Martin, one of the world’s most acclaimed manufacturers of luxury sports cars. Fittingly, 2012 will also be the year that the new V12 Zagato makes its debut as a production car demonstrating that now, more than ever before, Aston Martin is at the forefront of bespoke manufacturing, the new dynamic in the luxury marketplace.
The past twelve months have seen Aston Martin’s global dealership network expand further into new markets, cementing the brand’s appeal to aficionados of dynamic driving, sporting luxury and bespoke design. China continues to play an important role. Since entering the market in 2008, Aston Martin has opened seven dealerships, with a flagship location in Shanghai’s Pudong district, the largest ever Aston Martin dealership. This year, 13 additional showrooms are due to open in China. Together they are targeting to increase retail sales in the region from 190 in 2011 to around 700 in 2012.
Aston Martin’s global image is driven by its elegant dealerships, which set the benchmark for automotive retail design. Aston Martin’s global presence is extensive, with 136 dealerships in 42 countries. New markets are continually being added, including South America, India and Turkey.
2012 sees the arrival of the revised V8 Vantage range. Enhancements include the introduction of Aston Martin’s acclaimed Seven-speed Sportshift™ II transmission, with a new aerodynamic package derived from the motorsport variants of the Vantage range. In keeping with Aston Martin’s philosophy of continuous improvement, the 2012 Vantage range includes upgrades to chassis and braking.
The Vantage range is now topped by the new V12 Zagato. Created by a team at the Gaydon studios led by Aston Martin’s Director of Design, Marek Reichman, the V12 Zagato is a celebration of the long-standing collaboration between the two companies, a fitting testament to the importance Aston Martin places on design, technology, craftsmanship and skilled British manufacturing. Just 150 examples will be made at Aston Martin’s Gaydon factory.
Aston Martin continues to derive technological enhancements from both its racing programme and the extensive research and development that has gone into the One-77 project. In particular, Aston Martin’s experience with carbon-fibre is class leading, and the ability to prepare, fit and finish carbon-fibre components has been carried through into the V12 Zagato and will continue to filter through the Aston Martin range of sports cars.
Dr Ulrich Bez has overseen the company’s modern renaissance since his appointment as Aston Martin’s CEO in July 2000. During that time, Aston Martin has evolved from a small scale manufacturer to global player, preserving and enhancing the Aston Martin name and transforming it into an internationally lauded brand with a positive operating profit since 2005. In 2010 the company reported revenue of £474.3m and adjusted EBITDA of £93.3m. In 2011 Aston Martin retail sales remained stable at 4,200 but a lower adjusted EBITDA is expected due to an increase in the relative cost of sales of more than 3%. Full year 2011 results will be announced in April.
Aston Martin will exhibit eight cars at the 82nd International Motor Show at Geneva’s Palexpo this March, including the European debut of the limited edition V12 Zagato in production form, the V8 Vantage S and recently revised V8 Vantage, a DBS Coupe, V12 Vantage and Rapide. Also on display are two unique cars prepared by the new bespoke service, Q by Aston Martin.
Q by Aston Martin
Q by Aston Martin is a service that goes beyond the standard palette of paint, leather and trim finishes, taking the company into a new era in personalisation. A team that brings Aston Martin’s designers together with the company’s engineers and highly experienced craftspeople, allowing customers to enhance and personalise their Aston Martin with meticulous attention to detail.
The service can be extended to interior and exterior styling, offering almost endless opportunity for expression. Thanks to Aston Martin’s unique VH (Vertical Horizontal) Architecture, the philosophy that forms the backbone of its sports cars, the company has evolved a fast, flexible and modular approach to engineering. With Q by Aston Martin, the ability to commission the design and manufacture of your unique car is now within reach.
Q by Aston Martin can help to design and procure luxury items beyond the customers’ car. This could extend to colour matching a Brompton bicycle to their Aston Martin, supporting the customer’s architect to design their house, or creating colour themes and materials for the interior specification of a yacht.
The Virage and Cygnet models presented at Geneva have been enhanced and personalised to include unique colour and trim finishes, each car is a one-off showcase for the possibilities offered by Q by Aston Martin. The Virage with a bespoke Mariana Blue satin paint finish with an interior that includes blue carbon fibre, saddle leather floor mats, and striking yellow detailing, together with exclusive concept components, including a header mounted track-day HD video camera, luggage rack and striking forged, diamond turned wheel, all of which have been developed by the team, illustrating the scope of the service and the lengths to which customers can go with their individual requests.
The Cherry Tree Cygnet translates this bespoke service to Aston Martin’s acclaimed Tailor-Fit city car. Finished in Cherry Tree raspberry paint with a kestrel tan interior, the Cygnet includes specially developed photographic leather headlining, as well as a tailor-made colour-matched three piece luggage set, unique brogue leather detailing on the seats and a colour-matched Brompton bicycle for extra urban manoeuvrability.
In 2012, Aston Martin offers customers a remarkable fifteen models, including Rapide, the DBS Coupe and DBS Volante, Virage Coupe and Volante, DB9 Coupe and DB9 Volante, the V8 Vantage Coupe and Vantage Roadster, the Vantage S Coupe and Roadster and the V12 Vantage. In addition, there is the Cygnet city car and One-77 supercar, and the line-up will be joined by the V12 Zagato in mid-2012.
Personalisation, customisation and special options ensure customers have a practically unlimited choice. Aston Martin is a company with strong values, class leading product and a highly skilled workforce. A pioneer in design, technology and manufacturing, Aston Martin continues to be a global leader and a beacon of British design and manufacturing. Innovation, in all its forms, is central to Aston Martin’s ethos.