Hey Ladies! Aston Martin Sets Focus on Women Auto Enthusiasts
Iconic company announces its first-ever female chairman as it prepares to go public with an estimated $6.5 billion valuation.
For decades, fast cars have almost all been classified as “boy’s toys.” That doesn’t mean that women can’t enjoy cars, but the Cult of Car is overwhelmingly a boy’s club. But, it’s 2018, and the name of the game is crossovers and SUVs. That means traditional performance car companies are aggressively expanding their lineups to include family-friendly four-doors.
Because of this, they’re looking to woo non-traditional buyers, namely women. And while Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini have already taken steps to do this, Aston Martin is the latest marque to make a push for greater equality among its buyers. And it’s starting with moves in the boardroom ahead of its upcoming crossover.
As the British tabloid Daily Mail points out, just 3,500 out of the approximately 70,000 cars Aston has ever built have been bought by women. It’s looking to change that, and quickly. On September 7, the company named former Coca-Cola board member Penny Hughes as its chairman, the first woman to hold the position. The move comes as the company prepares to go public with an estimated $6.5 billion valuation.
A big bet on crossovers
On the ground, this push to woo women buyers is led by the brand’s upcoming crossover. Previewed as the DBX concept in 2015, it’s on track to launch in 2020 as the Varekai. It will likely be available in two- and four-door configurations. And potential buyers are not traditional Aston customers.
Virtually every automaker imagines imaginary customers when designing a new car, but Aston CEO Andy Palmer fleshes out the potential Varekai buyer in the Daily Mail. Palmer says Aston’s designers have dubbed this ideal buyer “Charlotte,” a 43-year old healthcare executive and mother. “… the car must fit Charlotte and people like-minded,” he says. ” She gardens and has an active lifestyle, as well as being a mum. She is extravagant and expressive in her buying behaviour, [sic] but also savvy and demands value.” Of course, the Varekai isn’t just for women. Despite being designed to appeal to them, that “… absolutely doesn’t mean that a man is not going to buy it.”
Porsche, Bentley, and Lamborghini may have all built fast, fine-looking performance crossovers, but we’re still on the fence about them. That said, it’s about damn time that automakers of any stripe start taking women seriously as potential customers. We’re interested to get our first look at the Varekai, and will wait to reserve judgment until then. But in the meantime, we’re happy to hear that Aston is taking some big steps in the right direction.