Consortium leader Dave Richards is quashing speculation that luxury sports car maker Aston Martin is for sale. “The company is not for sale,” Richards insisted during the Nurburgring 24-hour race last weekend, where Aston’s N24 Vantages finished 1-2-3 in their class. “This speculation is only there because we are talking to people all the time about engines,” Richards said. “But we are always talking to people, and it doesn’t mean we’re for sale.” Richard led a partnership that included two Middle East investment firms to take over Aston Martin from Ford Motor Co. last year. Since then rumors have circulated that the Prodrive boss and his investors would be happy to turn a quick dollar. But Richards’ denial is his most emphatic statement yet about Aston’s long-term future. The company’s future engine supply is less certain, though. Aston’s V8s are […]
Aston Martin has revealed more shots of its new Vantage GT2. The latest Aston racer was first shown as sketches in January. It also was seen at a test at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France in March. The Vantage GT2 fills out Aston Martin’s GT lineup, giving it a competitor in each category. Three teams have signed up to drive the Vantage GT2: James Watt Automotive, Drayson-Barwell and Gigawave. The car will make its race debut in the first round of the Le Mans Series on April 5 at Barcelona, Spain. The Vantage GT2 can run on standard fuel or E85 ethanol. It’s based on the V8-powered Vantage road car. Source: AutoWeek
A nice write up on the Aston Martin DBS over at Search Chicago Autos. Dan Jedlicka starts out by saying, “Some folks may consider the new $265,000 Aston Martin DBS too gorgeous to drive because it looks more like a million bucks. But the shapely, mechanically advanced DBS coupe is designed to be driven daily, even if it can hit 191 mph with its hand-assembled 510-horsepower V-12 engine, said John Walton, vice president and general manager of Aston Martin North America at a recent media preview of the DBS here.” Read more on the Seach Chicago Autos site.
An entry list of 27 cars has been revealed for the 2008 Avon Tyres British GT Championship featuring 19 cars in GT3 and eight in the new GT4 class. Defending champions RPM will run two cars in the GT3 class and also expand into GT4 with a further three cars. Former BTCC race-winner Paul O’Neill will partner Steve Clark in the #1 entry while Nick Foster will be partnered by experienced youngster Oliver Bryant in the sister car. In GT4, the team will run three Ginetta G50s for the pairings of Steve Tandy/Phil Bailey, Joe Osbourne/Michael Broadhurst and Chris Cooke/James Harrison.
Vauxhall is overhauling the design of its famous Griffin badge and will give the new logo a much bigger presence on the face of all its new models, starting with this summer’s redesigned Insignia, the Vectra replacement. The Griffin badge currently shares space on the nose of Vauxhall’s models with a chrome V-shaped finisher, which will remain a feature on the nose of models. But the redesigned Griffin will be the dominant identity on the nose of the Insignia, with other models getting the new badge as they are facelifted or replaced. “Time has come for the Griffin badge to get an update, just as our new model range needs,” says a Vauxhall source. The move will bring Vauxhall more in line with German sister-company Opel, whose circular badge crossed with a zig-zag dominates the front of its versions of […]
Rolls-Royce’s new Phantom Coupe brought in conquest customers ahead of its launch at the Geneva motor show on Tuesday. “Two-thirds [of the names] in our early order bank are from non Rolls-Royce owners,” said CEO Ian Robertson as he unveiled the new model. “It means we’re beginning to appeal to a broader audience. “We’ve already sold a clear 200 or more,” Robertson said. The Phantom Coupe was previewed by the 101EX concept car, which was shown at Geneva two years ago. The production model retains the look and many of the features of the 101EX, including the much-admired starlight headliner and the option of polished metal hood and windsheld frame. The Phantom Coupe is a sportier Rolls-Royce, said Robertson. “But it is still very clearly not a sports car.” The 200-plus orders for the Phantom Coupe mean that planned production […]
The Telegraph is reporting that Ulrich Bez has not just been turning around legendary car maker Aston Martin, but he has been leading them to profit. To quote the Telegraph, “Are profits still growing? Aston Martin has not yet published its 2007 financial results but Bez says: ‘Usually when there is a change of ownership you can say that a company will go through a difficult time for a year or two. We have not seen any of that. We have not lost any of the motivation that we had under Ford where we were a very enthusiastic team. We have been profitable since the last quarter of 2005 and we have increased that profitability year on year.’”
It’s been twenty years since Aston Martin, deeply in debt and little more than an automotive anachronism, was swallowed up by Ford empire. Say what you will about Ford’s other British luxury marques, the past two decades have been good ones for Aston. When Ford acquired the brand, in 1987, Aston sales plunged to as little as 42 cars a year and at one point, keeping the assembly line rolling depended on the sale of a single car to a wealthy — and quite drunk — British aristocrat. These days, Aston’s aspirations are positively mass-market, with an array of new products promising to push volume up near 10,000 cars a year, and the company well in the black for the first time in its 93-year history. That’ll be good news for the new owners, David Richards, CEO of racing’s Prodrive […]
Almost three quarters of UK consumers would buy British if given a £100,000 budget to spend on a new car, according to new research from online insurance company swiftcover.com. Sweeping aside their German and Italian rivals, British marques emerge as unanimous favorites amongst UK car buyers, with 69 per cent claiming they would opt for a British brand if they had the money to do so. Topping the ‘Dream Car’ list with almost a quarter of the votes is Aston Martin (24%), followed by Range Rover (19%), Bentley (16%) and Rolls Royce (10%). German and Italian luxury marques faired badly by comparison – with just one per cent opting for a Lamborghini, 9 per cent for a Ferrari, 9 per cent for a Porsche and 2 per cent for a Maserati. The top ten swiftcover.com “Dream Cars” for 2008 are: […]
Aston Martin could co-operate with Daimler AG’s Mercedes on ventures ranging from engines to new models, the British luxury carmaker’s majority shareholder, Kuwait’s Investment Dar, said on Tuesday. Adham Charanoglu, business development manager for Investment Dar, which bought Aston Martin from Ford Motor Company last March, said it had held talks with Mercedes and with LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and PPR’s Gucci on branded merchandising. Charanoglu told the Reuters Islamic Finance Summit that plans to overhaul Aston Martin merchandising had yet to be finished but included opening new centers dedicated to the marquee — made famous by James Bond — in the UK, the Gulf and possibly the U.S. Any brand development would need to be at the top end of the luxury market, with opportunities stretching from apparel, owners’ events and track racing to real estate, Charanoglu said, adding Aston […]