Aston Martin: A Second Century of Performance and Luxury
Following the March 2016 launch of DB11, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.'s first new sports car platform in over a decade, the case discusses the future strategy of the famed British luxury auto manufacturer. Since its founding in 1902, Aston Martin's has been characterized by leading automotive design of bespoke luxury vehicles. In 2016, CEO Andy Palmer faced decisions about the company's future direction in an automotive industry in the midst of a digital tornado with the arrival of autonomous, internetworked, clean energy-propelled vehicles. Palmer's Second Century Plan called for Aston Martin to diversify into new vehicle categories and increase overall production volume in an effort to boost earnings without compromising Aston Martin's reputation for exclusivity, style, and engineering. As one of the few luxury car companies not backed by a larger automaker, Palmer and Aston Martin faced the challenge of funding development of new vehicles and maintaining a position of leadership in automotive design. "The big question is whether the Second Century Plan has us departing from our traditional role as a sports car and luxury manufacturer and moving into new segments, new businesses," said Palmer in late 2016. "Is that a wise choice? How does a high-end premium provider in any business grow without losing its exclusive reputation? That is the eternal business question."