Have you noticed the ?For Sale? signs popping up around the neighbourhood? Automakers everywhere are standing on street corners, peddling their wares in the hope of attracting investors. The latest to offer a slice of itself is Aston Martin.
It appears there is more to the announcement of Aston?s Lagonda brand than just a brash new SUV-saloon-tourer-thingy for the mega-rich. Like many manufacturers, Aston Martin is feeling the pinch of the global recession and hopes to 'bait the hook' with the Lagonda brand to attract interested investors.
Aston Martin?s hopes of introducing the Lagonda to 100 worldwide markets will see it spread far beyond the reach of the current Aston Martin range, which sells in only 30 territories. The Lagonda platform is also described as high-tech and adaptable to a range of powertrain options including clean diesel and hybrid propulsion. But will this be enough, in these uncertain times, to convince potential investors to part with their money?
The Lagonda press release indicates the car will be available in Russia, Europe, North America and the Far East as well as spreading its reach to the emerging markets of the Middle East, China, India and South America.
Aston Martin?s current Kuwaiti owners, Investment Dar, took possession of the brand from Ford in 2007 and paid ?500 million (over AUD$1 billion). Since taking ownership, development of the Aston Range has not stood still and, until the current financial crisis rained on everyone's parade, growth was strong. Investment Dar is referring to the partial sell-off as a debt restructuring plan and claims to already have several expressions of interest.