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Kaptain
08-31-2006, 03:50 PM
Ford says it may sell Aston Martin

http://autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060831/FREE/60831003/1041/LATESTNEWS

By AMY WILSON | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 08/31/06, 10:48 am et

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. says it will consider selling its Aston Martin luxury car unit.

The company said today that it has begun exploring strategic options for Aston Martin with emphasis on the potential sale of all or a portion of the business.

"As part of our ongoing strategic review, we have determined that Aston Martin may be an attractive opportunity to raise capital and generate value," Ford CEO Bill Ford said in a statement. "Aston Martin Lagonda has flourished under Ford ownership, which is why we believe it is prudent to consider a sale of all or part of this prized brand."

The statement went on to say that Aston Martin is the "most logical and capital-smart divestiture choice" of Ford's brands because its dealer network, product architecture and size are distinct.

The sale of Aston Martin also would enable Ford Motor to efficiently raise capital to support its other brands, the statement said.

Ford Motor has made no decisions on the fate of its other Premier Automotive Group brands, Bill Ford said. The automaker's strategic review of those brands continues.

"We continue to be encouraged by Jaguar's progress and by the strength and consumer appeal of the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo product lineup," Bill Ford said.

Ford Motor acquired 75 percent of Aston Martin in 1987. It increased its ownership to 100 percent in 1994. While Ford Motor doesn't break out specific results for each PAG brand, Aston Martin is profitable and has been for some time, Ford spokesman Tom Hoyt said.

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I hope Prodrive continues building the Aston Martin DBR9 and DBRS9 race cars if Aston Martin were to be sold.

Aston Martin posted a profit last year. There has been little, if any, profit made in the 90+ year history of Aston Martin Lagonda.


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