SUBJECT: Dr Ulrich Bez
OCCUPATION: Chairman and CEO, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd
What is your greatest achievement? My five kids three girls, a boy and an Aston Marlin!
What is your biggest regret? Je ne regrefte rien.
Whose work in the industry today do you admire most and why? The people I admire most are all retired by now.
Who inspired you to join the industry and why? I had no other choice!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Stay calm.
What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in the next 12 months? To create a solid foundation for the years to come until 2015.
What car do you drive for fun? Our road cars at the Nurburgring 24-hour race.
When did you last go for a drive for the sake of it, and where? Last week there was a One-77 parked outside and I just went for a drive on the roads locally near Gaydon.
What’s the best moment you’ve ever had in a car? When I stopped a test and development drive on Route 66 in the US in early 2003 to return to Gaydon and make some fundamental changes to the calibration of the DB9 (launched in ’04).
What was your first car? VW Beetle.
Did you pass your test first time? Yes!
How will cars be powered in 30 years time? By fuel cells.
It’s your last drive. One car, one road. What and where? Our V8 Vantage race car, ‘Rose’ around the Nurburgring.
What music do you listen to in the car? The engine.
What’s the best book about cars or car people that you’ve ever read? It will first appear in 2011!
Can a petrol-powered car beat the diesels at Le Mans in 2011? We hope that the AGO can deliver the promised balancing in the regulations, and of course while it will be a very difficult task, we go to Le Mans to try and win.
Some of your competitors are moving to smaller turbocharged engines to meet the emissions and consumption challenges of the future. Does this direction interest Aston Martin? Our sports cars will remain true to their current character but we can support this with the Cygnet. I think the major challenge is that we need smaller, lighter, more efficient cars for congested areas. This has typically meant small equals cheap but we want to challenge this why can small not equal luxury and exclusivity?
Will James Bond still drive an Aston Martin when the next film comes out? I think it is a liffle early as the next film has not started yet, but of course we hope so.
What is the future for Lagonda as a separate brand? Lagonda remains an aspiration for us in the long term and will be the next step in helping to establish Aston Marlin as a strong independent company. Work on Lagonda is ongoing it has never stopped.
Can I drive the One-77? Can we have your deposit?