Aston Martin made waves when it formally unveiled the 2020 Aston Martin DBX SUV at the L.A. Auto Show earlier this year. The first SUV offering in the British luxury brand’s history, the DBX has alot riding on its haunches, and a new report suggests the DBX is an all-in bid on the luxury SUV market.
Aston Martin is a company in debt, with its rollercoaster finances (including several bankruptcies) often being intertwined with the firm’s iconic history. Aston had to increase its debt load in order to develop and produce the luxury off-roader, and as a result, the program has high expectations for Aston’s long term future. Aston CEO Andy Palmer is not letting that factoid sour his optimism, with the CEO recently releasing some remarks to the folks at Automotive News.
Every car we launch is important because of the way the business runs. But in terms of changing the company so that we address each of the luxury clusters, this is really important,” he said. “So far, we have replaced the core GT and sports cars — our historical ground. This is the first model that expands the portfolio.”
Palmer also revealed that the company plans to build between 4,000 to 5,000 DBXs a year which would nearly double the output from the company’s factory in England. This increase is a tall order for Aston, especially since the DBX will face stiff competition from established benchmarks like the Range Rover Sport and the Porsche Cayenne.
“Today more than 70 percent of Aston Martin customers have an SUV in the garage, so the hard work is already done,” said Palmer. “We just need to convert those people from their daily driver into an Aston Martin SUV.”
When viewed in the grand scheme of things, the long gestation period of the DBX might come back to haunt it in terms of it gaining a foot hold in sales. While the DBX was formally being developed, other brands such as Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, and even Rolls Royce all threw their hats into the rapidly growing utility segment. Bentley and Maserati in particular have had time to entrench themselves, and build a solid sales footprint for their customers, and it’s hard to usurp some of these customers away from those marques, and into a newcomer like the DBX. Stricter environmental laws and fuel regulations could also eventually cause the SUV sales bubble to burst, but Palmer is not letting that slow the firm down either.
“The whole industry is under the spotlight in terms of CO2 so obviously it’s important to make increasingly efficient SUVs. Do I think there’s a wholesale change from SUVs back to another type of vehicle? I don’t see it at the moment,” he said. “If you look at the startup EV makers they are all basically starting with SUVs. If you look around the world, the SUV is the preferred body type.”
Time will tell if the DBX is a winner for Aston Martin, but we do look forward to seeing and perhaps getting behind the wheel ourselves to find out if it has all the goods to succeed.