There will soon be a new chief heading up Aston Martin Americas region. The British automaker is bringing on Laura Schwab from rival Jaguar Land Rover, where she’s worked for the past 14 years, and she’ll take up her new post on October 26th.
With the move, Schwab makes a switch from one former Ford Motor Co. unit to another. Ford shed Aston Martin in 2007 and sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India’s Tata Motors the next year as former CEO Alan Mulally concentrated on the Ford brand. She’ll work out of Aston’s Americas headquarters in Irvine, Calif., and head up operations for the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America. The region makes up about 25 percent of Aston’s annual global sales and has 46 dealers.
“I’ve actually been really intrigued by Aston for a while,” Schwab said in an interview quoted by Automotive News. “I think there’s a real buzz around the company right now and it’s really tangible and they’ve got some incredibly interesting plans.”
Those plans are big ones, too. Aston Martin has previously said it will revamp is entire current lineup by 2020 in what it calls the “Second Century Plan.” The first cars that are expected to be replaced are the DB9 and the Vantage. There are also plans to create a long-wheelbase luxury sedan that will target the hot chauffeur Chinese market. The first new model will be the DB11 — a successor to the current DB9 — and we should see it in 2016.
As for the Vantage, it’s expected to get V-8 engines and electrical architecture developed in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler AG, which bought a 5 percent stake in Aston in 2013.
An all-electric Rapide four-door will follow, and then the all-new DBX four-door crossover coupe will arrive by the end of the decade.
“You’re looking after an exceptional brand and it’s a big responsibility,” Schwab said in an interview. “It’s an exciting time for a great brand and I feel really honored to be given this opportunity.”