Charlotte, an affluent Californian in her late 30s, is the new target buyer for British luxury brand Aston Martin.
Charlotte wants a people- and cargo-hauling crossover -- not the low-slung sports cars Aston makes today. And a crossover she'll get, says Aston CEO Andy Palmer. A five-door crossover, a lineup of redesigned sports cars and a new sedan are part of Aston's plan to boost global volume.
Increasing volume is key to Palmer's goal of making Aston profitable and able to fund new product development.
Palmer figures that female buyers and a crossover will help expand Aston's reach.
"The logic is simple. We sold 70,000 cars in 102 years -- less than half left the U.K., 3,500 were to women and 2,000 to the emerging markets," said Palmer, a Brit who took the helm in October after a stint as Nissan Motor Corp.'s chief planning officer.
Palmer is targeting 7,000 global sales, excluding the DBX crossover or the new Lagonda sedan. How high might sales go with those vehicles? Aston's factory in Gaydon, England, can build 10,000 vehicles on two shifts and 15,000 on three, he said. Last month, the Financial Times reported that Aston was considering U.S. production of the crossover.
That vehicle will appeal to the fictional Charlotte, who wants to sit up high and "wants that shell of safety and needs flexibility and room for the children," Palmer said.
The crossover not only will open Aston to a new segment and new customers but will appeal to the Asian market that has shunned the brand, he said.