China Automotive News Network As a former British car industry "national treasure" brand, Aston Martin has become a world-renowned dream car through a movie "007". Since then, he has appeared in films such as "Thunderous", "Golden Eye" and "Empire Tomorrow". Aston Martin seems to have been proving to the world that only it is the real vehicle for James Bond.
However, the omnipotent supercar in the movie, in real life, once fell into a business dilemma. After being acquired by Ford in the United States and bought back by wealthy British merchants, Aston Martin was once again in a financial crisis.
Feelings can't bear the poverty after all
According to the “Automobile Talk”, Aston Martin has been plagued by declining sales and profit warnings since its IPO in 2018. Not only that, but its stock price has fallen sharply. At the time of listing, Aston Martin was valued at approximately £ 5 billion, and today it is valued at approximately £ 1.5 billion, down almost £ 3.5 billion.
On January 7, Aston Martin issued a profit warning. As a result of the weak European market, weak market demand for Vantage models, and strong performance of competitors Bentley and Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin 2019 The profit will be almost halved, and the operating profit margin for the whole year is expected to be only 8%, which is much lower than the previous forecast of 13%.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer revealed that the company delivered 5,619 new cars worldwide in 2019, a 7% decrease from 2018. He said Aston Martin had a "very disappointing year".
Taking into account the unsustainable objective facts, Aston Martin urgently needs new capital to invest.
Aston Martin issued a statement on January 31 stating that the consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll will pay 182 million pounds in exchange for 16.7% of the company's shares. In addition to equity trading, Aston Martin will further raise 318 million pounds by allocating shares to major shareholders such as Stroll.
According to the "Qiaqibatan" understanding, Geely also participated in the share purchase negotiations, but in the end, there was disagreement on Aston Martin's future development direction.
The Geely side "hopes Aston Martin to formulate a complete development plan for the future strategy, especially in the area of new energy and intelligence to propose a strategic deployment of technological innovation that leads the world", while the board of Aston Martin believes that Continue to insist that "advertising and participating in events can make Aston Martin develop."
It can be seen that the differences in Chinese and foreign corporate cultures have directly led to their operating ideas for automobile brands, which also allowed Aston Martin to pass by with Geely.
Back to this acquisition, like other top luxury brands, Aston Martin is also difficult to make a profit, a curse of fate. With the decline in sales and continued losses, the funds raised this time will undoubtedly effectively relieve Aston Martin's financial pressure.
In addition, Aston Martin also launched the first SUV model-DBX, hoping to increase sales and bring huge profits through this.
After Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Bentley and other ultra-luxury car brands have entered the SUV market, Aston Martin, who has always been shown in the image of an English gentleman, has also compromised.
Aston Martin has always had a British feeling. Judging from the current market environment, feelings are not enough. It can be said that the debut of Aston Martin DBX has opened a brand new chapter for this car brand.
As Aston Martin Global President and CEO Dr. Andy Palmer puts it, "DBX is an exciting product, and its launch is a sign of Aston Martin's British icon Meaningful for the brand. It allowed the legendary brand to expand its product line for the first time in 106 years. "
According to the "Automotive Talk", Aston Martin has received about 1,800 DBX orders since its launch in November last year, and the rate of such orders is higher than any car launched before.
The fate of British brands
In fact, not only Aston Martin is facing business difficulties. As a former automobile powerhouse, British car companies seem to follow the same development path: from brand establishment to luxury labeling to financial pressure and resale.
Brands like Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Land Rover, and Jaguar, which we are familiar with, have long been in the pockets of others. In the true sense, there are only a few brands such as McLaren in the UK. Faced with strong German, Japanese, and American brands, as well as the rapidly rising Korean and domestic brands, British cars have gradually been marginalized by the market.
However, as a pioneer of the global industrialization movement, the British car manufacturing industry was once the leader. Back to the first industrial revolution, when productivity was generally low, the steam era started by Watts brought great industrial changes to Britain, and made the British automotive industry also give it an advantage over the world.
According to the "Automotive Talk", in the 1950s, there were already dozens of British-registered car companies. By the end of the 1950s, British car production ranked second in the world, second only to the United States.
In 1952, the Nuffield Group, consisting of Austin, Morris, Worsley, Riley, and MG Depot, merged to form British Motor Corporation (BMC), the largest car company in the UK. 40% of the UK automotive market.
At the same time, the company also acquired a body structure supplier from a local car company. Since then, BMC, which has mastered the body structure of the main competitors, has begun to become a dominant company, and has opened up a development model of acquisition all the way. With the addition of Jaguar, BMC changed its name to British Motor Holding (BMH). At that time, BMH acquired almost all local car brands in the UK.
The inferiority of British pride is also evident after the merger. A company that originally had a competitive relationship suddenly became a company's brand, and no one served anyone.
This is in full compliance with the historical law of prosperity and decline. The company started to go downhill. In 1965, BMH was close to bankruptcy. However, as a pillar industry in the UK, the government started to rescue at this time, and the solution was to rescue it with a larger merger.
The British Industrial Restructuring Board saw Leland's mature truck management system, so under the government's leadership, the two groups merged and renamed Leland. During this long merger and acquisition process, the final Leland car was composed of Austin, Morris, Jaguar, Rover and Triumph.
However, after the reorganization, there was no effort to turn the tide into a counterattack. Because the British automobile industry at that time was already ill: workers who loved strikes, unreliable quality, backward technology, and low efficiency. The once strong Britain had no new advantages after the first industrial revolution. Even when it was merged in 1968, it still used the old technology of 1949 and even 1948.
By 1973, the United Kingdom joined the European Union, and the German brand represented by golf, with its high-quality, high-tech product advantages, quickly occupied the British local auto market. .
With the continuous explosion of quality problems and the lack of star models, Leland Cars can no longer fight the aggressive foreign brands. In order to ensure the interests of workers, the leader of the Labour Party, Iron Lady, began to sell car companies after taking office.
In 1986, the British Leyland company fell apart along the way. This national dream team, which was once composed of Rolls Royce, Bentley, Land Rover, Jaguar, Lotus, MINI, etc., has been included in foreign car companies. In the UK, this leader who has taken the lead in the industry has also been completely reduced to a bare commander.
As a pioneer of the first industrial revolution, Britain tasted the milk fed by the steam age. However, no amount of glory is just the past.