You may have heard the rumours which kicked-off a few weeks ago that Aston Martin was up for sale. I forget who started them, but it didn’t take long for the usual speculation to deduce this last great bastion of British performance motoring was to be snatched up by Indian tractor maker Mahindra and ruined.
Yesterday at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Shah Alam, DRB-Hicom’s Chairman Datuk Syed Mohamad Syed Murtaza confirmed what we’ve known for a while, that the company is ‘seriously’ considering its options for Group Lotus, including disposing of its stake to focus on more profitable investments.
Writing the epitaph of a once great brand is never an easy thing to do, but yesterday I learned of the departure of Sales and Marketing Director Andy Noble from Caterham Cars – joining the company’s former bosses Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards and leaving just one member of the original management team, after Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes acquired the business last December.
The headline sounds downright depressing doesn’t it? The End is Nigh! BMW – staunch exponent of right-wheel drive cars – has finally sold out and conceded that the idealogy of its Ingolstadt rival is in fact.. correct. Please wake me from this nightmare.
Yesterday I was reading Kia’s announcement about the need to raise its brand image by offering more sporty cars – you know, the usual marketing rhetoric about being perceived as a dynamic brand, characterised by style, a premium look and some mystical notion of power. And then the following words struck me – “..it will almost certainly be rear-wheel drive”.
When it comes to content marketing, one format stands above all others – video. It’s the most powerful medium for switching-on a customer and delivering a memorable experience.
As I said in last night’s piece, ‘Why Lotus’ future is far from safe’, Proton has been working on securing a platform sharing deal with a major automotive partner.
Last week an article was published online by Auto Express magazine, with the title “Lotus’ future is safe”. In the interests of transparency and to ensure an honest dialogue, I’ll provide a little background on the source of this article and why you should still maintain an open mind about Lotus’ future.
The interweb is ablaze this morning with talk of yesterday’s crash between Nissan DeltaWing driver, Gunnar Jeannette, and the GTC Porsche 911 driver, Peter LeSaffre.
For any business to function it needs to produce a product or service, sell it to customers, develop new offerings and promote them in order to generate demand. It also needs working capital to pay its suppliers, develop its staff and motivate all involved in its organisation to outperform its competitors. Lotus appears to be doing none of these, and to all intents and purposes is like a patient ‘surviving’ on life support – not ‘living’ – because that would involve actually getting up and doing something, but surviving – as in artificially being kept alive.
With electric super car ‘halo’ models entering the fray, environmentally-friendly cars are about to become a lot more desirable. So, what’s the catch?
The competitive landscape for electric vehicles will change forever in 2013, not because of a deluge of sensible, affordable city cars from China, but because the biggest most aspirational car brands will begin a land grab of our heart and minds with a mind-boggling array of super sports cars.
Luxury sports car maker, Aston Martin, has sat atop the CoolBrands index since 2010, outdoing the likes of Apple, Rolex, Harley Davidson and Nike, but in this 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, the brand which made Britain’s most revered MI6 agent has dropped behind Apple and YouTube, into a lowly third place.