Autoblog claims Aston Martin has been bought by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton – putting the sportscar in a stable of luxury goods ranging from leather bags and cases to champagne and cognac. Such a move is more about caché and connections, than carbon emissions and lean-production technology.
Meanwhile, Bugatti (currently owned by VW) is offering high end accessories to accompany its $1.7m Veyron model with a $200,000 watch and $5,000 perfume.
These exclusive brand approaches contrast with the more accessible aspirational aspect of the Ferrari marketing machine – with the prancing horse logo adorning thousands of low cost items. Then we have Burberry, an upmarket, celebrity associated brand, brought low by UK chav culture. Under its Japanese owners, it isn’t surprising the Welsh factory is under threat – now it has has pulled out of a reception party at the BAFTA awards.
The real market of the wealthy middle-aged, primarily in the US, Middle East and Japan, are interested in status symbols rather than the products or production lines. It is the name, the label, that is all important. And with the reinvigorated James Bond franchise proving another global iconic brand, Aston Martin is probably more at home amongst the avenues of Paris “high society” than the bean-counters of Detroit.