Consumers are continuing to flock to the SUV segment.
Aston Martin is in an interesting place right now. The Valhalla, a friendlier version of the Valkyrie, is rumoured to bow in 2021 with Valkyrie deliveries expected to start by the end of the year. The British automaker is also forging ahead with hybridisation and electrification while preparing to launch the Lagonda brand. All this is happening while Aston is set to launch its first SUV ever – the DBX – later this year. In an interview with The Detroit Bureau, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said the DBX could “become the most important car in our history.”
Those are bold words for the head of a company that’s spent its entire history producing high-end, low-slung luxury performance vehicles. However, Palmer isn’t wrong. Other high-end automakers have introduced SUVs in the last few years – the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and Lamborghini Urus are just a few examples. Even Ferrari is dabbling in the new segment, and they’ve all found sales success.
All this is happening as the automaker faces an uncertain financial future. The interview touches on Aston’s reduced 2019 sales forecast that pummelled the company’s stock price even though sales increased 26 percent year-over-year. The DBX could be the vehicle the automaker needs right now, growing sales and profits in the months and years after its launch. In the interview, Palmer said the DBX, which is targeted for the U.S. and Chinese markets, will transform the company as it continues with its new-product rollout.
Gallery: Aston Martin DBX prototype at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed
Porsche was a trailblazer when it introduced the Cayenne for the 2003 model year, bolstering its coffers with SUV money that helped fuel the company’s sportier aspirations. Strangely, it took Aston Martin, Jaguar, and others this long to follow in Porsche’s footsteps. SUVs are hot right now even as the global car market slows, and the DBX could ride that wave of popularity.