BARNES Hungary

Aston Martin - The dawn of a new era


Sunday 30 April 2023

Picture Aston Martin - The dawn of a new era Picture

Aston Martin, the emblematic British car manufacturer and legendary brand in the global automotive industry celebrates its centenary. After significant changes in recent years, the legendary carmaker – iconic among James Bond fans and luxury brand lovers alike – is focusing on the future. The dedication of its new ownership and investors is already visible in its product range, brand identity, and stability. We asked János Szlifka, Managing Director of Aston Martin Budapest, about this transformation.

What exactly do we mean by the transformation of Aston Martin?

The model range has undergone a major refresh in recent years, and the branding has moved to a new level with the iconic factory's entry into the Formula 1 world as a team in British Racing Green.

What are the new models?

Entering F1 is more than just a marketing tool for brand growth; it is also an opportunity to implement developments and use technologies that most car manufacturers can only dream of. The Valkyrie was the first of this project, the development of which began in partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, with F1's well-known design engineer Adrian Newey. The Valkyrie is a hypercar, and it's safe to say that it's the closest to an F1 car among the models known on the road today.

Do we owe the new SUV to this era?

Absolutely. The DBX debuted in 2020 and has been a great success in the market, accounting for more than half of our sales domestically. European sales figures show the same proportion. The DBX was a huge hit when it first came out, and demand for it is still high today. It was boosted even more by the launch of the DBX707 last year. This model can be interpreted as a refinement of the DBX, featuring a more aggressive-looking body, a new transmission system, and a reconfigured V8 twin-turbo engine with 707 horsepower and 900 Nm of torque. No wonder the DBX707 has become the class leader in its segment. Both the 550 and 707 horsepower models are currently available for order.

Aston Martin has always placed a strong emphasis on unique, personalised cars. Is this still the case?

So much so that our 2023 production slots will probably run out by the time this article is published, and 90% of our current order bank is constructed based on individual needs, of which more than half includes so-called Q options that are not available from the already wide range. Occasionally, we fly out a customer to the Gaydon sports car factory, where a 'Q' team sits down at the design table to make even the most unusual wishes come true. This luxury is available at only a few manufacturers.

What can we look forward to in the following years?

Right now, our most exciting project is to start selling and delivering Valhalla in the domestic market. Like the Valkyrie, the Valhalla is a mid-engined supercar with a limited production quantity of 999 units worldwide. The ordering phase has only recently opened, but we immediately sold out our domestic quota, and currently, you can only get on a waiting list. Our first customers will be able to configure theirs later this year. I can guarantee you that the Hungarian roads have never seen a car like this!

Apart from the traditional models, we see more and more limited editions as well. What is the reason behind this?

Limited edition cars are becoming increasingly crucial in the factory's strategy, which is not surprising considering the high demand for them. Take the V12 Vantage, for example. It arrived in 2022, and all of them were sold months before the official announcement, exclusively to customer orders. I'm proud of my team, as we have also successfully sold one coupe and three roadsters out of a total of 582 V12 Vantage cars built.

Similarly, the DBS770 Ultimate Edition debuted in early 2023 as a kind of "final edition" of the DBS, also in limited quantity.

Selling limited edition cars is not only a great business concept, but it also delights us when a more special car appears on our roads. These cars also serve as brand ambassadors for us.

How do you see the domestic car market developing in this segment?

Last year proved that supply in the luxury market is incapable of fulfilling demand. Simply looking at the 2022 registration data demonstrates that sales in our immediate environment are continually increasing, with no sign of stopping, regardless of the global market position or global events. And here I can also take a little pride in connection with the fact that last year we became the third most powerful participant in the domestic market and doubled our market share in one year.

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