Aston Martin has a new chairman. David Richards, founder of Prodrive, heads a consortium which earlier this month paid Ford £480 million for control of Aston. Ford retains a stake worth around £40 million. Here, Richards reveals his aspirations for the 84-year-old marque.
How important is Aston Martin to you?
I’ve lusted after Astons since I was a schoolboy, and owned quite a few, so this means a lot. But it’s great business, too. Prodrive already runs Aston’s race cars, so I’ve already had a connection. From now on it’ll be closer still.
We say: Richards knows plenty about the pleasure and pain of Aston ownership, and shows a rare determination to keep quality going forwards.
Who’s in charge? You or Ulrich Bez?
Our jobs are different, but they match one another well. Ulrich has day-to-day control of the company like any chief executive. My job as chairman is to represent the shareholders’ interests. I’ll need to understand a lot about the company’s workings and help direct its strategy.
We say: Each of these strong-minded individuals is used to having the last word. Bez has run Aston his own way, but the new shareholders are unlikely to want him to be quite such a free spirit in future.