Aston Martin has lined up a £200 million, or roughly $300 million, cash infusion from its key shareholders, money that it will use to build several new models including a production version of the DBX crossover revealed at the Geneva Motor Show several months ago.
The goal is to create “the strongest and most portfolio in our history,” proclaimed Andy Palmer, the former Nissan senior executive who joined Aston Martin Lagonda as its new CEO last year.
“This additional long-term funding, will enable us to add extra model lines and broaden our presence in the luxury market segment by the end of the decade,” said Palmer in a statement. He made it clear that the primary focus is on the DBX.
While the goal is to develop “a new vehicle based on the DBX concept,” Aston sources have made it very clear to TheDetroitBureau.com that they will not produce the utility vehicle as shown in Geneva. For one thing, the production model will get five, rather than three, doors, and will be a bit less radical in its styling.
(For more on the Aston Martin DBX concept. Click Here.)
The show car was the first project initiated by Palmer, set into motion only four days after he officially joined the British marque last autumn.
In concept form, the DBX also featured a battery drive system. Aston officials have indicated they are working up an electric propulsion system but it is not clear what form it ultimately will take, whether pure battery drive or plug-in hybrid. Luxury rival Bentley will offer a plug-in version of the Bentayga SUV it plans to launch later this year.
And whether that plug-based system will be used in the production DBX also remains uncertain. Palmer has so far confirmed only that he would like to fit it into a version of the four-door Rapide sedan.
“I have challenged not only convention but also my team to investigate an electric version of the Rapide, a product which will undoubtedly be attractive for the China market,” Palmer said during an appearance at the Shanghai Motor Show last month.
As to what other models might be coming from Aston, no one is commenting. But speculation includes a new model bearing the classic Lagonda badge, which would likely be reserved for a new sedan – or in British terms, saloon – model. And yet another new sports car could round things out.
As part of its Second Century plan, the 102-year-old Aston has announced a goal of doubling sales – to an annual 8,000 – by decade’s end, and has been pledged financial help by, among others, Italian capital fund Investindustrial SpA, which took a 37.5% stake in the maker in 2012.
(Click Here for more on Aston’s Second Century plan)
The new capital infusion has come from both Investindustrial and Aston’s other lead shareholder, Tejara Capital.
The confidence the two are showing comes as Aston begins to get its financial house in order after years of turmoil. The British maker said it generated £468 million in revenues during the 2014 fiscal year, or about $709 million, and adjusted EBITDA of £66 million.
(Aston Martin takes to the track with new Vulcan. For more, Click Here.)