Aston Martin is in its 4th year of Independency and, although the global economy has been volatile, we are doing well.
In 2010 Aston Martin finished with an EBITDA of £80 million, an improvement of 40% against 2009, whilst our average sales price went up by 50% since 2007.
We have successfully established ourselves as an independent luxury manufacturer.
We are addressing key environmental issues, reducing the CO2 emissions of our fleet by 27% in the last 3 years. However, today’s challenges are not just air pollution, but also limited space.
We are tackling these challenges with our new luxury city car Cygnet, today, and not in dreams which may not become reality for years.
We are honest and proud about the way we do things. We love materials, colours, craftsmanship and all the small details that set Aston Martin apart from mainstream products.
We are proud to be a real exclusive, luxury company, not made by marketing language, or by volume and price, but a luxury company, made by content, real value, by concept and execution, where simplicity and evolution counts more than fashion and trends.
Our innovations have more substance in the car business than lots of the short term fireworks:
• A V12 engine in the body of a Vantage,
• The most elegant 4 door Rapide, a real sports car, not a Limousine derivate.
• A paradigm change with Cygnet from “Small is Cheap” to “Small is precious”.
• The One-77, incorporating traditional Aluminium Craftsmanship with an all Carbon structure in a dress of unparalleled beauty and excitement.
I do not consider an Electrically-driven Vehicle as an Innovation, as Professor Porsche has built such cars in 1914 that could reach a Top Speed of 80km and 80kmh.
To build cars driven by Electric Motors, which are expected to do just a few km a day does make sense to any size. But mobility is not just that. Mobility means also to be able to go anywhere at anytime.
A DBS, a Virage, a Rapide are meant to do exactly this; to drive anywhere at any time, and this is only possible with a combustion engine for the next 15 to 20 years.
Environment is all about consumption of Energy, Material and Space and there is no doubt that a Cygnet minimizes this consumption. Its performance is more than enough and it can take four people. When it comes to leathers and refined materials it can easily compete against a DB9. It is also one of the safest small cars available on the market and offers people a real luxury product with which they can demonstrate sensible leadership in Metropolitan areas.
Luxury is not, or not only a question of price. Luxury is knowledge and insight. Luxury is exclusivity, It’s Design and Craftsmanship. It’s material and it’s passion of the creator and the owner, and it’s beyond comparison. Who would compare a Hermes handbag for 5000 Euros with a high street one for 50? Luxury does not need comparison, but as I said, it needs exclusivity.
Cygnet is exclusive and perfectly complements our other models. It is our hybrid concept. The Cygnet and the Rapide or the Cygnet and the new Virage.
Virage is the revival of the historic name “Virage” on a modern, evolutionary car concept.Evolutionary, because Evolution has always developed better solutions than revolution, Virage incorporates Aston Martin DNA all what is said about exclusivity and luxury, but also with the long haul capability and relaxing performance. It is the next level of our VH architecture and modular strategy.
This strategy is what allows us to produce a variation of products for the individual demand and whilst being profitable at the same time. Our customers want us to be profitable; they want to be associated with Aston Martin being a successful Brand.
The same is valid for the new V8 Vantage S. The ultimate driver-focussed V8 Vantage. A compelling package of agility with a new seven speed Sportshift Gearbox, with an excellent balance, engagement and everyday practicality.
So, we are adding three new cars to our model line up, which has seen in the last 10 months two other new cars – the Rapide and the One-77. This is a great achievement!
It brings us up to a line-up of 10 cars - all different in character - and allows us to offer a tailored solution for each taste, need and pocket.
Looking ahead over the next few years, I am expecting global growth.
We are able to start entering Asia and China now and are present in South America and from next month in India. We have restructuring plans in place for Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
We will also reconfigure our existing Network to provide an even better service to our customers. And last but not least we will keep investing in exciting products.
The next will be in Villa d’Este in May and it will be in the context of celebrating an anniversary of which we have lots to come within the next two years. Just guess!
Ladies and Gentleman, thank you for your on-going support and interest.
I invite you to come on our stand, speak to our people and discover Aston Martin!