Aston Martin continues to obtain profits out of aging technology

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 2, 2011

Having access to the resources of a big and advanced parent company is a huge advantage. Lamborghini has Volkswagen AG and Ferrari has Fiat S.p.A. while Aston Martin doesn’t really have anybody and instead, it is making the most of its aging technology.

Aston Martin is planning to create more models that will be built on its platform that was launched eight years ago. This plan only serves to emphasize Aston Martin’s limitations as it can’t make use of the advanced technologies of a parent firm.

Andrew Jackson, an analyst at research firm Datamonitor in London, said that in this industry, automakers have to be “cutting edge” in order to keep up with rivals. In 2007, Ford Motor Co. sold Aston Martin to a group of private investors including Kuwait's Investment Dar Co.

For this year, Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, expects to spend around 5 billion euros ($7.1 billion) for research and development. This figure is more than eight times the 509 million pounds ($830 million) revenue posted by Aston Martin for the 12 months ended March 31.

BMW AG, the owner of Rolls-Royce, will soon open a factory that will make lightweight carbon fibers for a range consisting of electric-powered vehicles, as it seeks to meet demand for green cars. BMW is also working on front-wheel drive models and will soon expand the Mini brand with a coupe and roadster.

Ian Robertson, BMW's sales chief, said that in the next decade, the changes in the auto industry will surpass those accomplished in the last century. Aston Martin’s top-selling vehicle is the Vantage coupe that has a price tag of $113,400.

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