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Aston Martin's Ambition: Triumphing While Selling Cars as WellAston Martin's Ambition: Triumphing While Selling Cars as Well

Aston Martin’s Ambition: Triumphing While Selling Cars as Well

Publish – 8 aug , 2023

Auto racing has proven to be a powerful platform for product promotion, from Budweiser to Viagra, motor oil to Martini & Rossi, and almost every gasoline and cigarette brand. Now, as Formula 1 gains significant traction in the United States, driven in part by the popular Netflix documentary series “Drive to Survive,” the question arises: Can it also effectively market Aston Martins?

Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian billionaire and executive chairman of the prestigious British car marque, who also owns the Aston Martin Formula 1 team, underscored the lucrative potential during the inauguration of the company’s flagship showroom named Q New York, located on Park Avenue in Manhattan.

As a “Drive to Survive” camera crew trailed behind him, Lawrence Stroll, whose son Lance pilots one of the team’s vehicles that are defying expectations, emphasized his mission to overturn the brand’s historically uncertain fortunes. His goal is to detach Aston Martin from Ferrari’s shadow and capture the interest of affluent buyers.

Beyond the elegant showroom, showcased within one of New York City’s largest plate-glass windows, intrigued pedestrians exhaust their smartphone cameras while capturing images of the Valkyrie AMR Pro, a goblin-green extraterrestrial figure at rest.

Designed by Formula 1 legend Adrian Newey, this 1,000-horsepower marvel, priced at over $4 million, is destined for track use exclusively, with a mere 40 units in existence.

In stark contrast to the refined vehicles that historically defined the brand’s postwar image, the Valkyrie appears as a beastly machine. Nevertheless, both the Valkyrie and the involvement in Formula 1 emphasize Lawrence Stroll’s endeavor to attract a new wave of buyers who might perceive Aston solely as a British luxury icon, synonymous with exclusivity, or the favored choice of James Bond.

Aston Martin's Ambition: Triumphing While Selling Cars as Well
CREDIT – Aston Martin

Aston Martin’s Ambition: Triumphing While Selling Cars as Well

Stroll emphasized that the timing is impeccable. After decades of existing as a niche sport in America, often as obscure as cricket to many, Formula 1 has undergone a dramatic shift. Buoyed by the fast-paced melodrama showcased in “Drive to Survive,” both television ratings and event attendance have surged. This year, the United States, which NASCAR previously appeared to have exclusively captured, is playing host to three Formula 1 races, marking the first occurrence in 40 years. Anticipated extravaganzas are scheduled in Miami and Las Vegas.

Stroll remarked, “The impact of Formula 1 is extraordinary, particularly within this country. Our dynamics have evolved tremendously since we established a Formula 1 team.”

He went on to mention, “The notion of ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ has never been more accurate,” invoking a saying from the early days of NASCAR that underscores the close link between racing victories and consumer vehicle sales.

Aston Martin's Ambition: Triumphing While Selling Cars as Well
CREDIT – Aston Martin

The impact of Formula 1 is permeating every facet of Aston Martin’s endeavors, influencing ambitious product strategies and the stabilization of financial performance. Although the company incurred an operating loss of approximately $152 million in the previous year, revenues surged by 26 percent. However, Lawrence Stroll, the owner, stated that Aston is surpassing its projections by aiming to sell over 9,000 vehicles and generate $2 billion in annual sales. The DBX sport-utility vehicle, which constituted half of the brand’s 6,412 global sales in 2022, led this growth.

Historically, financial setbacks have paralleled Aston’s 110-year journey, alongside its iconic Bond vehicles, such as the DB5 featured in Sean Connery’s 007 portrayal in the 1964 film “Goldfinger,” a period preceding the widespread concept of product placement.

Aston executives highlight a January brand health survey, which indicated that a remarkable 96 percent of U.S. customers believe the affiliation with Formula 1 enhances their inclination to consider the brand. Furthermore, 98 percent of Aston owners perceive the Formula 1 aura as elevating the excitement of driving the cars and enhancing the brand’s technological credibility.

With a dedicated team established to translate race-tested insights into road application, Aston is bridging the gap between track performance and consumer vehicles, as outlined by Lawrence Stroll.

The influence of the sport is discernible in real-time metrics. As Formula 1 drivers speed around tracks worldwide, traffic on Aston’s online model-building and pricing tool surges by a minimum of 25 percent, according to Lawrence Stroll. While certain effects are intangible, such as an uplift in company morale, others are quite tangible, like a June incident where Lance Stroll maneuvered one of the team’s vehicles through Aston Martin’s newly built $260 million Formula 1 headquarters, leaving rubber marks on the polished floors as astonished employees watched on.

Aston Martin's Ambition: Triumphing While Selling Cars as Well
CREDIT – Aston Martin

 

Aston Martin has now garnered a substantial sum, potentially around $60 million, in sales through the “Vantage F1 Edition,” a rendition of the Vantage safety cars employed during race incidents. According to Stroll, the brand has successfully sold approximately 400 units of this car, which carries a starting price of about $178,000.

Inside the Q store, Marek Reichman, Aston’s Chief Creative Officer, presents the new $248,000 DB12. This model harmoniously merges the brand’s recognizable contours with a twin-turbo V8 engine sourced from Mercedes-AMG, boasting an output of 671 horsepower.

Even before his consortium acquired a controlling stake in the company in 2020, Stroll, an ardent car enthusiast and collector, including of Aston Martins, expressed his sentiments to the brand’s executives.

“As much as I adored the cars, I always felt that the performance didn’t quite match their beauty,” he reflected.

Named after the ingenious gadget expert behind Bond, the Q Store aspires to offer a comparable experience to customers, with the option to don formal wear. Within this creative workshop, video content and virtual technology play a pivotal role. Through video links, buyers can collaborate with designers at the company’s headquarters in Gaydon, England, to customize their vehicles.

On the store’s opening day in June, Stroll presided over a lengthy table adorned with leather swatches, trims, and luxurious choices that echoed his background in the fashion industry, which included former investments in brands like Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger.

A DBX materialized on a massive wall-sized screen, and any changes made to samples of colors or options via tablet instantly reflected on the screen.

Reichman simulated various virtual environments for the Aston, encompassing twilight in a moody Scotland and sun-soaked scenes in Miami.

Reichman elaborated, “You’re obtaining an authentic preview of how your car will appear outdoors,” as the pigments accurately imitated the real-world geographic conditions and time of day.

Customer-inspired paint concepts can be digitally visualized within 24 to 48 hours, Reichman noted. Over half of Aston’s buyers are utilizing the Q by Aston Martin service to personalize their vehicles, according to the company’s statistics. For those making substantial investments, Reichman himself might venture from Gaydon to guide clients in their selections.

Reichman stated with a smile, “If someone is acquiring more than one car, or a comprehensive collection, naturally I’d make the trip.”

In line with the ascending prominence of the Stroll father-and-son duo in the American market, it all revolves around the power of branding, where excitement, perception, and cultural prestige reign supreme. Aston Martin is solidifying the idea that Formula 1 can indeed enhance car sales.

“In this space, we’re hanging up brake calipers instead of men’s jackets or women’s dresses, but the principle remains unchanged,” Stroll affirmed.

“It’s a way of presenting how you want to be perceived by the world. Whether it’s the watch on your wrist, the shoes on your feet, or the car you drive. It’s all a reflection of who you are.”

By admin

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