So Aston Martin, the car of choice for James Bond, has hired away a former Tesla executive to oversee global sales. Does that mean that Aston is in trouble, or that Tesla is finally becoming a serious player to be reckoned with in the automotive world? This is not to imply that Aston Martin IS in trouble, it’s just that in economic times like these, a car company like Aston Martin (or any other high end luxury brand) has to really watch its step. Either way, Aston has announced that Michael van der Sande has been appointed to the company’s newly created position of “Chief Commercial Officer”. Van der Sande, in addition to being on Aston Martin’s board of management will also report directly to CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.
The hiring move will, according to Bez, “will help us to further develop Aston Martin’s presence around the world.” Hmmm, then why hire a guy from Tesla, were there no other high profile automotive success stories out there?
It turns out that before Van der Sande was at Tesla Motors, he was well known for his twelve years with Harley Davidson, where he held a variety of senior roles. While at Harley, Van der Sande working in marketing, dealer development, product development and commercial operations. All of which could come in handy for Aston Martin. And Van der Sande also knows the Euro market, his last roll for Harley was as the chief of the motorcycle company in Europe.
At Aston Martin, Van der Sande’s new role will be that of Chief Commercial Officer, where he will be responsible for all commercial areas to further develop and strengthen these key areas of the business. The 44-year-old Dutchman holds a racing license, and the hope is that his love of racing transfers into both the production and motorsport sides of Aston Martin’s operations.
Van der Sande steps into his new seat at Aston during a crucial time for the British automaker. The next couple of years will be very important for Aston Martin as they continue their ambitious new model roll-out during one of the worst economic periods in the entire history of the automotive industry. Aston Martin will be debuting three all-new models, even though the global economic recession has made a dent in the company’s sales.
Source: Motor Authority