Feb 23, 2011
Why? Because it doesn’t look “new” enough.
Now there’s the cynical argument that says that since Aston Martin went independent under Prodive it hasn’t had the money to develop a completely new car. And it’s probably a perfectly valid argument at that.
But “big whoop!” I say if it means the company takes one of the most arresting pieces of automotive design seen in decades and continues refine it. It’s not as if this approach is without precedent.
There was a time when premium and luxury car brands made long-term investments in their products, making sure that they got things right in the first place, startling as it may seem. Brands like Mercedes, Volvo and even Citroen could then spend up to 25 years reaping the benefits of doing it right first time ’round.
Take a look at the Mercedes SLs below, 1971 and 1989 models respectively, and you’ll see what I mean.
Feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong (that’s what the comments are for) but it’s these long-running models -like the Mercedes SL, Volvo 240 series and the Citroen DS and CX- that really helped cement the reputations of the respective brands in the consumer’s mind. They came to represent a dogged adherence to core brand values.
Now, of course, you can argue that times have changed. We live in a neophiliac world where we’ll see 6 fashion weeks in 2011 and Apple feels the need to change the world on an annual basis. Car makers naturally -desperately- feel the need to match the pace of the consumer’s march to the mall. For until we, the consumers, change our rhythm, car makers sure as hell wont.
But perhaps Aston Martin still lives in a world slightly apart. Perhaps there’s a core customer group -outside of the UAE- which is still looking to purchase an investment piece, not a bit of throw-away tat.
Think of it this way: for the owner of an ’04 DB9 it must be pretty reassuring that his car, nipped and tucked, is still pulling at heart strings in ’11. For the prospective purchaser of an ’11 Virage, she knows that she’s buying a car with 7 years of development under its skin.
And at the end of the day, it must be very reassuring for Aston Martin to know that this same car is still opening wallets all these years later. An investment well made it would seem.
Just don’t get me started on the Cygnet.