Aston Martin Sold for $925 Million

by : KatieJones

In 1993, the Ford Motor Company bought the European luxury car brand Aston Martin. The popularity of the brand has been boosted by the appearance of some of their vehicles in James Bond films. While the popularity of the marque increases when James Bond made it the vehicle of his choice, the brand failed to generate adequate income for the Detroit based car maker.

In the midst of the financial woes being faced by the Ford Motor Company, they have announced in August of last year that they will sell either a part of or the entirety of the Aston Martin. The company hopes that the sale of the luxury car brand will give them enough financial leverage to invest on their other brands.

There have been a lot of speculations as to who would be the next owner of the famed luxury brand. In fact, it was reported a few weeks ago that the French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH is interested on purchasing the luxury car brand. But the rumors were found out to be unfounded.

Last week though, Reuters reported that Ford will announce the sale of the Aston Martin as early as this week. And today, the largest news provider announced that Ford is selling the British luxury car brand to a group led by former F1 racing boss from Benetton and BAR David Richards. Richards is currently the chairman of Prodrive - a Formula One racing team. Reuters reported that the group will purchase a major part of the luxury car brand for 479 million pounds or $925 million. Ford, meanwhile, will still retain some part in the brand with an investment of $77 million.

Aside from the Formula One team Prodrive, Kuwait's Investment Dar and Adeem Investment are also part of the group which raised the $925 million to purchase a major part of the brand. Aston Martin collector and racing backer John Sinders is also a part of the group that will soon own the majority of Aston Martin.

The Aston Martin brand is based at Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. Its name came from the Aston Clinton hill climb, and from the name of one of its founder, Lionel Martin. For the most part of the 1990's, it has been a part of the Premiere Automotive Group - the division of Ford Motor Company which combines the business operations of Ford's five European car manufacturers. Aston Martin was the sixth brand in the group which consists of Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo Cars, Daimler, and Rover.

Since Aston Martin's founding after the First World War, it has been beset by financial problems. One of the things they have to contend with is how to keep up with the rest of the automotive industry in terms of production. It is known that Aston Martin produces only a limited number of hand-crafted cars while the rest of the automobile producing community employs mass production techniques.

In 1947 though, the savior of the brand came in the form of Sir David Brown. The David Brown Limited bought Aston Martin, and then with the combined resources of the two companies, Aston Martin specialized in producing grand touring models. These famous models from Aston Martin were named using Sir David Brown's initials.

After the David Brown era, the marque was sold and resold so many times until Ford bought 75 percent of the brand in 1987, and then in 1993, the Ford Motor Company added another band decal on their by purchasing the entirety of the car brand.

Ford's financial problems led them to the choice of selling a part of their Premiere Automotive Group. The company first considered selling Jaguar, Volvo, or Land Rover until finally announcing that they will be selling in part or whole of the Aston Martin brand.