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Aston Martin’s first all-electric sports car will arrive in 2025

Mr. AMG is now Mr. Aston Martin. Nine months after starting the top job, Tobias Moers is ready to reveal his master plan for solving all of Aston’s problems. We caught up with him to see how it was going.

Top Gear: Have you ridden the Valkyrie before?

Tobias Moers: I have, it’s good, ride comfort is pretty good, it works well. The seating position is something very special, very similar to another car that I know …

Speaking of which … you left the Mercedes Project One and inherited the Aston Martin Valkyrie. What gave you the biggest headache?

The diplomatic response to that is quite a challenge! There’s a big difference, you can’t compare them because the Project One is not a normal car, but more traditional – the powertrain is the one-of-a-kind. With the Valkyrie, the V12 is the more traditional piece, even though it spins over 11,000 rpm, but the gearbox and electric motor are very special and the car itself is more of an airplane than a car.

What attracted you to the job?

Lawrence [Stroll] asked me to go on a journey with him and sometimes in your life you have to ask, “What’s next?” Aston Martin is a brand that I love, it is well known, but the definition of the brand, the products behind the brand, there is so much room for improvement.

Must have liked the synergies between Mercedes and Aston?

It wasn’t why he emailed me. Who can fix this, who can implement a turnaround program with Aston, who can develop the product strategy for the future? Those were his questions. Is it an advantage that I know the Mercedes technical department well? Yes sure.

How was business when you took over the company in August last year? Was it a bigger job than you thought?

It’s two jobs in one. The first is how to turn a company around because Aston wasn’t in a good place in terms of efficiency. In manufacturing, as we conduct our operations drills, there were a lot of things to fix. The company used to operate two assembly lines; we have shut one down. It’s not related to lack of volume or anything, it just wasn’t right. Now all cars are on one assembly line: DB11, DBS, Volantes, Coupes, Vantage. We had 70 stations so the working capital was very high, now we have 23. It’s pure money.

Sound like you’re surprised how much of a difference you could make so quickly?

Yes. We’re talking about an efficiency of at least 30 to 40 percent across the company. In some areas even more. It’s hard to explain because in the automotive industry they talk about savings of 2, 3, 4 percent as good.

Part one is rationalization, part two has to be the product plan? Let’s start with the mid-engined cars …

You know about the Valykrie, Valhalla switched to a different powertrain … plug-in hybrid.

V8? Here you can use the drive technology from Mercedes …

Yes, it’s a plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive. We are working on that. Electrified front axle and internal combustion engine at the rear in combination with an electrified transmission. That’s a common drivetrain for the future with the next Vanquish.

How do you tell the difference between Valhalla and Vanquish when they have the same powertrain?

There are different cars, the Valhalla has a carbon platform, the Vanquish is made of aluminum. Valhalla will look different than it used to be, than the model we had in Geneva in 2019, it is a very bespoke car with still very low seating position. Vanquish is more of the all-rounder with a really high level of performance, but a gentler mid-engine program.

What’s the plan with the Lagonda brand?

Lagonda was everything – the most luxurious brand, the brand for electric drives. Right now we know what we’re going to do with it, but we’ll keep that to ourselves. It’s definitely not a bespoke brand for electric drives because that doesn’t make sense. If you do, you have to bring a new brand to life, you have to explain it, you have to market it. At the end of the day, you have to look at the main brand and that is Aston Martin. The idea that it is a luxury brand is not so wrong. The perception that Aston Martin now has an F1 team is that we are sportier than ever, so there is room for more luxury.

There is a rumor that I left a board meeting at Daimler because of AMG’s four-cylinder hybrid, that was me! That was my idea. I brought this to life

Are you interested in a Le Mans program?

We could probably do better in customer racing in the future. A mid-engine program gives you a little more leverage, but the Le Mans hypercar class? I’m not sure. At the end of the day, with a balanced performance, everything is connected to the slowest car. That’s the truth. Right now we have to choose our struggles, move the company to a better place financially, stop bleeding money, build a sustainable future.

Do you need to grow Vantage and DB11 sales or can you rely on DBX?

No, I am more than happy with the orders for sports cars. It’s a lot more than I thought. We had 3,000 cars in stock last year and now we’ve cleared the floor. There has always been a gap between wholesale and retail. That drives up the discount. We have now cleared stocks almost everywhere.

Do you need a DBS and a DB11?

Yes, but with a different approach in the future. So we’re working on facelifts for these cars. They have aged, there is not enough tech, they are not connected, all of these things are going to happen. There is definitely room for a wider portfolio with two doors and 2 + 2, there is probably even room for a halo car in this segment.

So electrification. How do you feel about it?

I’m totally in it. Everything you hear is wrong. There is a rumor that I left a board meeting at Daimler because of AMG’s four-cylinder hybrid, that was me! That was my idea. I brought this to life.

So you see plenty of opportunities for exciting, electrified Aston Martins?

Yes absolutely. You need a plug-in hybrid for the mid-engine program. The technology transfer with Mercedes will allow us to integrate a plug-in hybrid into a DBX in two years’ time as well, and there is probably even an opportunity to do something with DB11 and DBS.

When will we see the first all-electric Aston Martin?

Our next generation sports car in 2025 or 2026. It is a given. When it comes to an electric platform, create one that serves sports cars and SUVs, two doors and four doors. You can be creative. So you bring platforms together.

Could you take an entire electric platform from Mercedes?

We could do that, that’s part of the technology transfer discussion. There is an opportunity for the EQS platform, but is it the right platform for a sports brand?

Can an Aston Martin still have character if it’s electrically powered?

What does the typical Aston Martin stand for? It’s a beautiful car, you need a rebel and a gentleman rolled into one, and we can achieve that. You can keep emotions going. I did some exercises with additional shakers in a car because emotions are all senses.

What happens to the UK’s new internal combustion engine ban in 2030?

I think that by 2030 we will run at least 50 percent of the portfolio purely electrically. The rest will be a plug-in hybrid … and probably a few hundred cars as a chain tool. Because that’s still allowed, just for that.

Overall, what are you most proud of in the first nine months of the job?

Energy. Now everything revolves around energy in the company. Because I see it in production, I can also see it in the eyes of the engineers. It’s a completely different place.

Five-point turnaround: Moers’ simple steps to make Aston great again

1. Efficiency: Two production lines become one, 70 workplaces 23, 3,000 vehicles in stock, which can be built as required. Seems obvious doesn’t it?

2. Recharge your batteries: A healthy company is a happy company: “Last week I asked someone in the workshop how things are going.” The answer was “good, because you are here,” ”says Moers modestly.

3. Excite: Take on Ferrari and Mclaren with a three-pronged mid-engined program – first Valkyrie (with spin-off specials), then follow up with the V8 plug-in Valhalla and Vanquish with a Merc engine.

4. Electrify: Plug-in Hybrid DBX until 2023, with Plug-in DB11 and DBS to follow. First Aston sports car with full EV by 2025 or 2026, possibly on a full Merc EV platform, 50 percent of all-electric sales by 2030.

5. Expand: F1 makes Aston look sportier, so room for Lagonda to bring luxury. Think of the Maybach S-Class, not independent models. Ferrari aims for a turnover of 9,000 to 10,000 per year and makes a profit of 6,000.

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