Currently reading: Aston Martin: new chairman Lawrence Stroll to bring racing focus
Future executive chairman Stroll outlines his focus for the brand and introduces new models
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3 mins read
4 March 2020

Aston Martin has used what would’ve been its Geneva motor show press conference to introduce future executive chairman Lawrence Stroll, alongside a host of new models. 

Held instead at Aston’s headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire after the Geneva show was cancelled, the short conference stream saw Canadian billionaire Stroll make his first appearance alongside CEO Andy Palmer since he led a consortium to take a major stake in the British brand.

Billionaire Stroll takes major stake in Aston Martin

Introducing the conference, Stroll outlined the reasons for his investments, stating that the company has “the brand, products, engineering excellence and potential to become one of the world’s pre-eminent car manufacturers”.

He restated his aims to “reset the business plan”, starting by rebalancing supply to ensure dealer inventories are more in line with demand, and giving the firm the “financial security” to deliver crucial new models such as the DBX SUV

Stroll also confirmed that Aston is “committed” to launching its long-mooted range of mid-engined cars, starting with the Valkyrie, continuing with the Valhalla and, eventually, also featuring a new Vanquish. Key to generating interest in this car will be Aston’s return to Formula One for the first time since 1960. 

“We are bringing a lot more than money,” Stroll said.  “I have a long history in building luxury global brands in both private and public sectors. As executive chairman I will ultimately be responsible for the strategy we are implementing.

“The foundation of the strategy is returning Aston Martin to a works Formula One team on the grid for 2021. It is operating under its own brand allowing it to reach an audience of two billion and to engage and entertain our customers at 22 locations every year. It’s very exciting for all parties and should underpin the building of our brand globally and allow us to achieve our ambition that Aston Martin will become a pre-eminent luxury brand globally.”

Stroll claims these mid-engined cars will take technology from Aston’s works F1 team - although the Valkyrie and Valhalla were cars developed up until this point under Aston’s now dead partnership with Red Bull. F1 will have "a halo effect, a trickle-down effect" for the whole company, claims Stroll. 

His interests lie firmly in making the most of the brand's racing heritage, citing the company's foundations in 1913, with the name stemming from founders Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford's bike racing experience up Aston Hill in Buckinghamshire. 

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During the conference, CEO Andy Palmer and chief creative office Marek Reichman also joined Stroll to introduce the new roofless V12 Speedster to the world, alongside the new Vantage Roadster and a Q by Aston Martin edition of the DBX.

Stroll’s consortium now owns 16.7% of Aston Martin, with the investment and a new rights issue giving the maker a £500 million cash boost at a vital time. 2019, described as a “very disappointing year” by Palmer, saw the firm issue a profit warning due to “challenging trading conditions”. Its stock price plummeted from the brand’s float in 2018, seeing it fall to around 20% of that value. 

Read more

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Aston Martin DBX gains bespoke Q options for Geneva​

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8

4 March 2020

Why pull the Valkyrie out of Le Mans / endurance racing?

I just don't understand that at all.

I think F1 works for more mainstream brands who amoritise the investment across thousands of dealerships, sponsorship activations, ad campaigns, merchandise sales etc. Or it works if you are Ferrari and have a life long association with the sport and an entire country behind you. 

For Aston Martin it seems like a very expensive way to indulge the new chairman's passion. We shall see.

4 March 2020
This is the guy who bought a team for his boy to go racing in, and the results are not good. Now more toy cars for him?

Let us look at some facts.

Aston Martin shares are tanking, dropping from £19 per share to less than £3. Value of the company from £4.3bn to less than £700 million since IPO. A company that needs £500 million cash injection - nearly the value of the company! That is not a good ratio.

Why are they failing?

Even Aston has blamed poor sales of their newest models, and in particular the Vantage. The looks are not selling. Marek Reichman s designs are not working.

What should Aston do? Change designer, refresh the range. What are they doing? Ignoring the problem.

Aston should not be involved with F1. It brings nothing to the brand and nobody buying an Aston was ever fooled by it.

And they need to also seek a new CEO because Palmer has done nothing but take millions out the business for himself. He is looking more like Dany Bahar every day.

4 March 2020
John Sim you seem to be on here every week complaining about Aston Martin and criticising the cars and the designs. It is as though you have been upset by them personally, or had a bad experience in a car or maybe even bought shares looking to make a fast buck and unfortunately for you that hasn't quite happened. It appears you spending a lot of time making negative comments even though you are a "Top Fan". Maybe stick to BBQing and playing chess.

5 March 2020
Crewes missile wrote:

It is as though you have been upset by them personally, or had a bad experience in a car or maybe even bought shares looking to make a fast buck and unfortunately for you that hasn't quite happened.

Or maybe it is just heartbreaking watching a great car company going to the wall again. Repeating the same mistakes again and again expecting a different result.

I have no skin in this game other than sadness watching something beautiful wither and die.

4 March 2020
Beyond me why they didn't look at their past history with rich "enthusiasts" buying into the company and, look at what Geely has done for Volvo and is doing with Lotus.

4 March 2020
Bob Cholmondeley wrote:

Beyond me why they didn't look at their past history with rich "enthusiasts" buying into the company and, look at what Geely has done for Volvo and is doing with Lotus.

That is true, Aston did well under Ford and all the other high-end brands except Ferrari sit within the bosom of a benevolent parent. I assume that Andy Palmer's ego made him want to enrichen himself and Aston by staying independent. The Welsh factory, at a time of Brexit uncertainty, was the ultimate folly.

4 March 2020

I've been an avid Aston fan for 56 years, since the day I was taken by my grandmother to see Goldfinger when it first came out. 

Now I can afford one, but sadly (for me though maybe not them) I'm not lovin' any of their current or pipeline cars.

5 March 2020
F1 is a waste of money.

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