My name is Martin. Aston Martin. I am the coolest auto brand in the world. James Bond is my brother-in-arms. I am indomitable. Because of bad managers, strikes and high manufacturing costs, I have never made money for any of my many, many owners. Yet I'm still here. And I just got a new partner: Italy's Investindustrial, which will inject $230 million into my parent company, Kuwait's Investment Dar, to ramp up production and exports. Considering that Moody's wants to reduce my credit rating to junk, this investment proves that I'm too cool to kill.
For proof, look no further then the new One-77. I know that you are wondering about what the name means. No more than 77 will be built. Monsieur Faberge made more eggs. At about $2 million, each One-77 is personalized. Don't ask about fuel consumption; that's just crass. Ask about the engine: V12, 7.3 liters. That will curl your hair. Unlike common cars, the engine is so big that I don't have room for a glove box. But then the rear storage compartment makes up for it. You can fit an entire envelope into it.
I don't have a racing pedigree like my cousins Ferrari or Mercedes. In fact, back in the day, when winning a race was the equivalent to advertising on Superbowl, I barely won any races. The one race I did win was understandably overshadowed by a Mercedes that hurled itself at a crowd, killing 83 spectators. In the long run, no one really cares, because I am so good looking that being seen in me will do more for your image then a Brioni suit.
I am 100 years old, an icon of British luxury, which is important to survival since I don't make any money. The fact is that my history is populated by financial ruin and disastrous mistakes. In 1958, the DB4 was launched. Everyone loved it. The American importer wanted everything I could make. Good news at last. Until the factory went on strike. For an entire year. When owners finally did take delivery, the reliability was so bad that it bordered on dangerous. Some cars actually blew up. In 1963 the DB5 was introduced to the world when my old friend James Bond drove it in Goldfinger. In an instant, Aston Martin became the most famous car in the world. It was the coolest, fastest and most expensive four-seater in the world. It cost twice as much as an E-Type. Like all Astons, it was a money loser.
Admittedly, I have a checkered past. Some of my cars had outdated technology and some were so unreliable that they only really worked in glossy photographs. The fact that I exist proves the power of looks and symbolism.
When you are a part of a deeply rooted legacy, you can get away with anything. Add style and money will find you. This is a unique position. But it comes with a tremendous responsibility to "Keep Calm and Carry On". And that philosophy has paid off handsomely. I may not make any money, but I dare anyone to kill the coolest car in the world.