Todayonline: Ford wants to sell
Aston Martin

After wrecking 3 prototype vehicles in advertising for a car not even in
production. Ford decides to cut losses and sell the auto company best
associated with Bond avoiding the backlash from Daniel Craig and the
declining Bond name.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ford wants to sell Aston Martin

Troubled US auto giant Ford Motor Co. says it is looking to sell Aston
Martin, the prestigious British sports carmaker immortalised by fictional
superspy James Bond.

Chairman and chief executive Bill Ford said that as part of an ongoing
strategic review, the US automaker had decided that the British-based unit
"may be an attractive opportunity to raise capital and generate value".

"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," he said in a statement.

Ford has not yet decided on the future of Aston Martin's stablemates in the
company's Premier Automotive Group (PAG), including luxury carmaker
Jaguar, Bill Ford added.

"However, we continue to be encouraged by Jaguar's progress and by the
strength and consumer appeal of the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo
product lineups," he said.

"Since Aston Martin's dealer network, product architecture and size are
distinctly different from other Ford brands, it is the most logical and
capital-smart divestiture choice," the company boss said.

"The objective of any sale would be to position Aston Martin within a
structure and resource base sufficient to allow it to reach its full potential,
while enabling Ford to efficiently raise capital for its other brands."

JCB, the British engineering firm renowned for its heavy-equipment
vehicles, said last week that it was interested in buying the loss-making
Jaguar, which analysts have said is the obvious choice for Ford to divest.

A sale of Aston Martin, whose latest DBS model will feature in the next 007
movie "Casino Royale", did not appear on the cards up to now. But Ford is
battling to revamp its operations as it suffers hefty losses in income and
market share.

A spokesman for Ford's PAG division in London, John Gardiner, said "we
do have a number of confidential parties that are interested" in Aston
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