Ulrich Bezs clear vision of Aston Martins brand identity has helped turn around the carmakers fortunes.
Before, we had a kind of brutal sportiness, he told Automotive News Europe at the 2006 London auto show. Now, were aiming for a refined sportiness but with a black-tie type of character.
Bez would not necessarily volunteer it, but the image is very much that of the suave and sophisticated fictional spy James Bond, who drives the new DBS in the latest 007 movie. The DBS will be launched as Astons flagship model this autumn.
Bez has helped reinvent Aston Martin. He has transformed a struggling and haphazardly managed UK producer of a handful of old-fashioned cars a year into an internationally acclaimed maker of ultra luxury sports cars desired for their style and sophistication.
Since Bez arrived at Aston Martin in 2000 he has overseen a production surge at the British brand. Aston Martin made 7,010 cars last year, up from 800 cars in 2000.It also made a profit last year, one of the few times the brand has made money during its 94-year history.
Based on this success, it is no surprise that Aston Martins new owners have asked Bez to remain CEO. The German executive plans to stay for another five years.
Famous for his eagerness to don a helmet and leap behind the wheel of a race car, Bez is also one of the most passionate CEOs in the auto business. Last year he flew direct from competing at the Nürburgring in Germany to France where Aston Martin models had just finished sixth, ninth and tenth in the renowned 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.
Prior to his arrival at Aston Martin in 2000, Bez had a distinguished career at both BMW, where he is credited with the Z1 sports car, and Porsche, where he directed not only motorsports programs but also the development of road cars such as the 911 Turbo.
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