Richards: my arrange for Aston Martin
Aston Martin includes a new chairman. David Richards, founding father of Prodrive, heads a consortium which earlier this year compensated Ford ￡480 million for charge of Aston. Ford maintains a stake worth around ￡40 million. Here, Richards reveals his aspirations for that 84-year-old marque.
How important is Aston Martin for you?
I’ve lusted after Astons since i have would be a schoolboy, and owned a number of, which means this means a great deal. But it’s great business, too. Prodrive already runs Aston’s cars, so I’ve already were built with a connection. In the future it’ll be closer still.
We are saying: Richards knows plenty concerning the pleasure and discomfort of Aston possession, and shows an uncommon determination to help keep quality going forwards.
Who’s in control? You or Ulrich Bez?
Our tasks are different, however they match each other well. Ulrich has day-to-day charge of the organization like every leader. My job as chairman would be to represent the shareholders’ interests. I’ll need to comprehend a great deal concerning the company’s workings which help direct its strategy.
We are saying: All these strong-minded individuals can be used to getting the final word. Bez has run Aston their own way, however the new shareholders are unlikely to wish him to become quite this type of free spirit later on.
What exactly are Aston Martin’s new priorities?
Although Aston is 84 years of age, this can be a youthful business which must mature. It’s essential that we develop procedures and standards of the. So far as new models go, the DBS, our Vanquish substitute, isn’t a long way away and we’ve also approved an investment which will bring the Rapide four-door saloon to promote late in ’09.
We are saying: Neither Bez nor Richards want Ford’s cadences to dictate their plans any more, though Richards does acknowledge Ford’s ongoing importance in Aston’s future. Aston intends to create a virtue of their new independence.
Can Aston Martin fund its future models?
It must fund them. If the organization wasn’t in this seem position, it could seem tough but there exists a highly flexible manufacturing system and a few great technology. We built 7000 cars this past year, along with the Rapide investment we can turn to about 9000. Which should provide us with the liberty to engineer the cars we demand for future. Don’t ask me what they’re, though, because we haven’t made the decision.
We are saying: In addition to the well-advanced DBS and Rapide, Aston plans are fluid. Don’t search for big deviations from Bez’s ideas, though.
What’s a ‘DBX’, then?
Which was Ulrich’s teaser, a thing that made an appearance on the chart we demonstrated. It had been simply designed to represent the following Aston product, anything.
We are saying: After DBS and Vanquish, there should be existence in DB9 and V8 Vantage. Wouldn’t bet against some low-volume special-bodied (Zagato?) versions, though.
What about calling the following model DR10?
That’s a really definite non-starter. Not really an ego like mine could be extended quite that far…
We are saying: Why don’t you? Nobody complained when David Brown used his initials, and none of his cars designed a profit.
Lastly, we requested Richards if he’d any intend to take Aston into F1. This is an appealing intend to some, apparently, but Richards insists his Prodrive F1 task for ’08 is really a separate entity and try to describes Aston like a “sports vehicle company”. Possibly he concurs with individuals who say Jaguar could have been better spending its cash on sports vehicle racing rather of F1.
A minimum of he’s confident he is able to deal with the workload. “People who question the way i is worried in 2 such demanding projects at the same time don’t understand the way i work,” he explains. “You hire the very best people, support them, and you allow them to start it.”