Blog: Aston Martin
Dave Leggett | 27 November 2012
It's gone very quiet on the Aston Martin story. Negotiations may well be at a delicate stage. There may well be a fair bit to sort out. The current owner isn't going to flog and run, it will still have a significant stake.
Sounds to me like Investindustrial sensed a good opportunity for an investment with decent return potential, word going around for months now that Investment Dar would talk to bidders for a big stake. Aston Martin does not sell many cars, does it? Get in there and secure a technical tie-up with an appropriate partner (Daimler/Mercedes by sounds of it) to help with new models and it's a brand 'with legs' perhaps. Premium brands are doing rather well aren't they? Look at BMW, JLR. Aston Martin could surely do better than circa 4K sales a year and could be worth a lot more in 5 years' time if all goes well? The Kuwaiti investment group that owns it also wants some cash, so it may well be, the money men were probably thinking in Lugano, a 'buyer's market' for a car brand like that, right now. Just the involvement of Investindustrial - a private-equity group that styles itself as going where others fear to tread - might send the message that Aston Martin is not an easy sell. Investment Dar would have to take what they can get. Deal almost done late last week.
And then, along comes Mahindra with a bigger bid. Investment Dar likes the sound of that. World's biggest tractor company wants to make luxury sports cars, where are the synergies, the analysts say? They perhaps have some different motivations and a different approach to making it work. Think Tata and JLR, think Geely and Volvo Car. Emerging market companies propelled to the world stage. They leave the precious brands alone but 'manage the bottom lines', protect the asset, get management and worker support for long-term strategies. Immediate shake-ups cause damage, send confused messages. Anyway, my feeling is that we'll know the outcome of the sensitive discussions taking place this week very soon.
The short films available on YouTube showing Toyota's Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell being made are well worth a look (as noted by previous blog). The Motomachi plant in Toyota City is churning out three Mi...
Here's a chance to see details of Toyota's Mirai fuel cell car being manufactured at its Motomachi plant in Japan....
Interesting development in the news at Audi. There's a robot on the assembly line that works with the humans....
If you live in North America and want to buy an Opel, you head for your friendly Buick corner store and drive home in a shiny new Regal built in Canada, though launch models a few years back actually ...
- Volvo UK specs up seven seat XC90 redesign
- COMMENT: Diesel not out in London and Paris
- ANALYSIS: Mercedes smart brand's last chance?
- Management briefing: 48V mild hybrids (2)
- ANALYSIS: Europe's fragile recovery continues
- Honda chief quits
- Geneva show list updated
- Land Rover updates Evoque
- UK: Aston Martin to reveal future models strategy
- Ricardo unveils new prototype electric motor
- Global light vehicle engine technologies market- forecasts to 2029
- Global vehicle lightweighting - technology, trends and the future
- LMC Automotive's European Passenger Car Production Estimates - Latest Monthly Update
- Global electrified light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)