Aston Martin Cars
Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British manufacturer of luxury sports cars. It was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford.
From 1994 until 2007, Aston Martin was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company, becoming part of Ford‘s Premier Automotive Group when it was formed in 2000. In March 2007, a consortium of investors purchased 90% of Aston Martin for £479 million, with Ford retaining a £40 million stake.
In December 2012, the Italian private equity fund Investindustrial signed a deal to buy 37.5% of Aston Martin, investing £150 million as a capital increase.
Aston Martin was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The two had joined forces as Bamford & Martin the previous year to sell cars made by Singer from premises in Callow Street, London where they also serviced GWK and Calthorpe vehicles. Martin raced specials at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton, and the pair decided to make their own vehicles. The first car to be named Aston Martin was created by Martin by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini.
They acquired premises at Henniker Place in Kensington and produced their first car in March 1915. Production could not start because of the outbreak of World War I, and Martin joined the Admiralty and Bamford the Royal Army Service Corps. All machinery was sold to the Sopwith Aviation Company.
The first four-door Aston Martin Rapide sports cars rolled out of the Magna Steyr factory in Graz, Austria in 2010.
The contract manufacturer provides dedicated facilities to ensure compliance with the exacting standards of Aston Martin and other marques, including Mercedes-Benz. Ulrich Bez has publicly speculated about outsourcing all of Aston Martin’s operations with the exception of marketing.In September 2011 it was announced Rapide production would be returned to Gaydon in the second half of 2012, restoring all manufacture there.
In late 2012, Investment Dar reviewed its stake, with Mahindra & Mahindra emerging as a potential bidder for as much as half of Aston Martin. Instead, Italian private equity fund Investindustrial signed a deal on 6 December 2012 to buy 37.5% of Aston Martin, investing £150 million as a capital increase. This was confirmed by Aston Martin in a press release on 7 December 2012.
Aston Martin V8 and V12 engines are still manufactured by Ford in Cologne, Germany by an agreement that lasts until 2013. Ford, which does not use either in its vehicle range and derives little benefit from the arrangement, has declined to comment on its future.
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