Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2017
Aston Martin: A Second Century of Performance and Luxury
by Vish V.
Krishnan, Karim R. Lakhani and Amram Migdal
Following the March 2016 launch of DB11, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.’s first new sports car platform in over a decade, this case discusses the future strategy of the famed British luxury auto manufacturer.
Since its founding in 1902, Aston Martin has been characterized by leading automotive design of bespoke luxury vehicles.
Aston Martin IPO
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 the 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.”
Keywords: luxury; auto brand; luxury auto; Growth; innovation; transformation; Business or Company Management; Goals and Objectives; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Product Marketing; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Operations; Product Design; Product Development; Production; Innovation and Invention; Transportation; Innovation and Management; Innovation Strategy; Change; Transformation; Management; Marketing; Auto Industry; Europe; United Kingdom; England;