Aston Martin has hired Laura Schwab from Jaguar Land Rover to be president of its Americas region.
The British sports car maker said Thursday that Schwab’s hiring will take effect Oct. 26.
Schwab, 42, has worked at Land Rover for the past 14 years, most recently as marketing director in the United Kingdom.
With the move, Schwab will switch from one former Ford Motor Co. unit to another. Ford shed Aston Martin in 2007 and sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India’s Tata Motors the next year as former CEO Alan Mulally concentrated on the Ford brand.
Schwab, a Louisville, Ky., native, will work out of Aston’s Americas headquarters in Irvine, Calif., where she’ll head up operations for the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America. The region makes up about 25 percent of Aston’s annual global sales and has 46 dealers.
“I’ve actually been really intrigued by Aston for a while,” Schwab said in an interview. “I think there’s a real buzz around the company right now and it’s really tangible and they’ve got some incredibly interesting plans.”
Those plans include boosting annual global sales to its target of 15,000, up from 4,000 in 2014. To do this, the company is in the middle of revamping and expanding its entire lineup.
The first new model in the company’s pivot will be the DB11 -- a successor to the current DB9 -- that is expected to debut in 2016.
A new generation of Aston’s smaller Vantage is expected after that. This model will use V-8 engines and electrical architecture developed in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler AG, which bought a 5 percent stake in Aston in 2013.
An all-electric Rapide four-door will follow, and then the all-new DBX four-door crossover coupe will arrive by the end of the decade. The DBX is aimed at markets like the U.S. and China, as well as female buyers, and will come in gasoline, plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants.
To keep up with its growing ambitions, Aston also plans to build a new production plant. Company CEO Andy Palmer has indicated Alabama is among the sites on Aston’s short list. The company plans to announce the location later this month.
Schwab replaces Julian Jenkins, who left Aston in August to become the general manager of global business development for BMW's Rolls-Royce brand.
With so much on her plate, Schwab is mindful of the challenges ahead.
“You’re looking after an exceptional brand and it’s a big responsibility,” Schwab said. “It’s an exciting time for a great brand and I feel really honored to be given this opportunity.”