Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, has warned that many mainstream automakers will go extinct should they not drastically alter their business models.
“I do believe we are at the beginning of end of the traditional automotive industry,” Palmer said, according to Automotive News Europe. “For a long time, the business model has been stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap,” he added.
“But profitless volume is no way to build a sustainable company. It makes no sense to spend one billion on a new car and discount it almost at launch,” Palmer went on.
Palmer, who in 2014 joined Aston Martin from Nissan, added that the automotive industry had “too many capital junkies spending billions and getting too little return for it”.
He warned that the predicted rise of electric and autonomous vehicles would encourage increased ride-sharing, which would hit traditional automakers even harder.
“We risk moving toward commoditisation of a pod. The world does not need dozens of nameplates making the same objects.”
Palmer added that his Gaydon-based brand was “flourishing”.
“Having worked in mass market and volume, I know now that small is beautiful. You have the agility to respond to market and customer needs, and as long as you have friends to share technology there is the ability to improve margins,” he explained, likely referring to Aston Martin’s agreements with Daimler.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.