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Aston Martin races toward personalisation in pursuit of broader appeal

Aston Martin is making personalisation a key pillar of a marketing charge for broader appeal that it hopes will kickstart the loss-making business on the road to recovery.

The car maker is the latest big spending advertiser to pin its growth prospects on a more tailored customer experience. To date, the efforts have been pumped to drivers through the James Bond sponsor’s limited yet aptly named “Q by Aston Martin” but it is to merge with the Special Products Division to give more personalisation more weight in its future marketing.

The new business unit will be able to tailor everything relating to the car, from unique interiors to creating the DB10 that will appear in the next Bond film. Many of the cars off Aston Martin’s production line already feature elements of “Q by Aston Martin” and the car maker sees the opportunity to maintain momentum here as well as focus more intently on personalised customer service.

Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer, who took the reigns last year, said the personalisation play was part of a “bold new era reaching far into the next decade”. The former Nissan planning chief is outlining his new route to consumers at the Geneva Motor Show today(3 March) as the troubled business looks to make a return to profitability after 2016.

“Often cynics dismiss talk of a ‘new era’ in any business as hype but I know the cars we have on show here today at Geneva, along with the major work that’s ongoing in the UK and around the world to re-tool and re-equip our business for the exciting times ahead, more than merits the use of the phrase,” said Palmer.

“Aston Martin has a proud 102-year heritage of luxury sports cars and, with the exciting plans we now have in place that put customers once again at the very heart of our thinking and our operations, I’m confident it will continue to shine as a luxury business in the decades ahead.”

The confidence is born from major changes to the way Aston Martin talks to consumers. Reports from the trade show signal that upcoming efforts will try and appeal to people who would never have considered buying one of the luxury cars, mainly women and younger drivers. The company plans to lift preference through the largest investment in new vehicles in its 102-year history.

To ease the burden of the increased costs, Aston Martin will likely lean on its partnership with Daimler AG. The German car marque, which owns 5 per cent of its peer, shares technology and already provides additional funding.