2018 ALL STAR | LUXURY AUTOMAKER
Aston Martin Lagonda
When former Nissan executive Andy Palmer arrived at Aston Martin in 2014, the British sports car maker was undergoing yet another transformation as its owners struggled to find the elusive path to consistent profitability.
Palmer applied his marketing savvy to more surgically target the fragmented tribes of wealthy buyers globally, while his production knowledge helped him streamline inefficient production to both cut costs and raise quality. The British-born executive has deftly capitalized on Aston's relationship with Daimler to keep its technology up to date while going bold on the notion that of all the ultraluxury brands, Aston Martin is the one that can most plausibly stretch its product range to fulfill the motoring needs of the rich — from tourers to midengine sports cars to grand electric sedans. The theory is tested next year with the arrival of the DBX crossover.
It was this all-encompassing vision that Palmer, 55, plausibly sold to investors on the brand's flotation on the stock market in October, and although the share price has fallen since, the brand's ever-improving balance sheet could yet bring about the Ferrari-style financial revolution Palmer has started.