Bentley CEO Who Blamed ‘Emotional Sensitivity’ for Low Sales Is No Longer Bentley’s CEO

Adrian Hallmark. Bentley
Adrian Hallmark. Bentley

Just a few days ago, Bentley's CEO Adrian Hallmark said quite possibly the most unintentionally funny thing an automotive CEO has ever said. According to Hallmark, sales were down in 2023 due in part to customers' "emotional sensitivity." In other words, rich people were afraid of shaming us poors while driving around in $300,000 Continental GTs. And just a few days later, Bentley announced that Hallmark is leaving ... to run Aston Martin.

This transition was likely in the works for a long time, so Hallmark's leaving isn't related to his comments on Bentley's lower sales. However, it is ironic to hear a CEO of one uber-luxury brand talk about "emotional sensitivity" over displaying wealth in economically struggling markets and then announce a transition to another uber-luxury brand days later.

<em>Aston Martin Vantage. Aston Martin</em>
Aston Martin Vantage. Aston Martin

Hallmark won't start running Aston Martin right away, he'll step into the CEO role by October 1, 2024 at the latest. Until then, Aston's current CEO Amedeo Felisa will continue to run the company.


When Hallmark does take over Aston, he'll have his work cut out for him launching its first-ever Valhalla hybrid supercar, getting the new Vantage off the ground, and facing electrification head-on, among other things. However, most folks at Aston Martin think he's the right person for the job.

“In Adrian Hallmark, we are attracting one of the highest calibre leaders not just in our segment, but in the entire global automotive industry. Complementing our world-class leadership, Adrian will bring to Aston Martin unrivalled experience in both the ultra-luxury and British manufacturing sectors to progress our strategy and continue recent momentum,” said Aston Martin Exectuive Chairman Lawrence Stroll.

More importantly, though, Hallmark will bring an astute awareness of Aston Martin customers' emotional sensitivity. Let's hope DB12 and Vantage customers don't feel as ashamed of driving their quarter-million-dollar supercars around us plebes as Bentley customers do.

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