Spare a thought, if you will, for the brand-new car manufacturer.
Not only does everyone involved have to start from quite literally square one in terms of design, engineering, manufacturing. and so on—they have to convince all of us that what they’re doing is unique and worthwhile enough to deserve our time, attention, and money. And this all needs to happen in one of the most regulated, competitive, and unpredictable markets in the world.
So how will new car brand Aehra succeed where so many have failed?
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Well, getting Lamborghini’s old chief designer is probably a strong start. Filippo Perini, now head of design at Aehra, is the man you can thank for how the Aventador and Huracan look. In fact, Perini had a hand in every Lamborghini from 2006 to 2016, as well as various Alfa Romeos and the Italdesign Zerouno, so he’s not exactly unfamiliar with creating gorgeous shapes. Neither is Alessandro Serra, who’s not only worked with Perini at Lamborghini, Italdesign, and Genesis, but can also point to the Lamborghini Reventon and Aventador SV and give you a knowing nod.
But is hiring a few employees with big resumés going to be enough to make Aehra a thing? Well, probably not. But as we tend to spout scepticism at intervals you could set your watch to, let’s dive a little deeper before writing this whole thing off immediately.
So, what’s there? Well, Aehra’s already raised Series A funding (that’s the first big lot of investing), so there’s money to move forward on its plan. As for the plan itself? Well, we’re not venture capitalists or anything, but starting with a luxury EV SUV before moving on to an equally luxurious EV sedan... neither market is what you’d call niche or shrinking, is it?
And it’s not like Aehra’s planning to hang around with things, either—even though this run of largely inscrutable teaser images doesn’t suggest much so far, we’ll apparently have proper design images next month, followed by the sedan in February next year, and both cars will be in production in 2025. After a year on sale, Aehra’s planning to have sold more than 15,000 SUVs and another 15,000 sedans.
But plans are much like foreheads; everyone has one, some are bigger than others, and some are naturally suited to a raised eyebrow. To make a plan like this into anything approaching reality, you’d need something of an overachiever.
Like a co-founder who—at least according to his official bio—has a masters in theoretical physics from Cambridge and a PhD in applied maths from Imperial College, then decided finance was more his thing and worked for the likes of Citi and Merrill Lynch. In the last year of his PhD, while working in finance, he started his own trading company. As you do. Oh, and he’s a pilot and skydiver who launched the biggest indoor skydiving centre in Europe, alongside an ex-paratrooper and skydiving instructor... who’s also a pilot. And a stunt coordinator, aerial filming coordinator, and ‘trainer for special forces,’ presumably in how to jump out of perfectly good aircraft. And now they’re starting a car company together.
Spare a thought, if you will, for what constitutes ‘down time’ over at Aehra’s offices.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.
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