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Ford Could Probably Sell Aston Martin This Week
Posted On September 22, 2010
Ford Could Probably Sell Aston Martin This Week
The Ford Motor Co. is in exclusive talks with Prodrive, a motorsport and automotive company, over the possible sale of the U.S. carmaker’s Aston Martin luxury car unit.
It was earlier reported that Prodrive had trouble financing a bid but the automaker had chosen the company because it had offered a higher price than other interested purchasers. According to reports, more than 450 million pounds would be given to Ford as consideration of the Aston Martin.
To date, the automaker did not release any comment on this matter. However, a source familiar to the potential deal said that the automaker could announce the sale of the Aston Martin as early as this week. Last year, Ford announced that it would sell all or just a part of the Aston Martin to raise funds for other company businesses.
Formula One team Prodrive, working with Egypt’s Naeem investment bank, is the frontrunner to purchase Ford’s luxury unit. Prodrive Ltd. is famed for designing, constructing and racing cars for companies and teams such as Subaru and Aston Martin. The company’s Automotive Technology division, which is based in Warwick, also offers road car design and engineering consultation for other automakers. The company is popularly known for its participation in the World Rally Championship with the Subaru World Rally Team.
However, the source did not deny other enthusiastic bidders such as the UK buyout firm Doughty Hanson. The source added that negotiations are still in the process should talks fall. In addition, the deal also has the possibility to slip away. Sources familiar to the deal said Doughty Hanson and Syrian-born property tycoon Simon Halabi also submitted second-round offers for the Aston Martin in an auction being run by investment bank UBS AG.
According to a top Ford official, the Aston Martin is on solid financial footing. The sales of the car brand were also increased by the James Bond spy movies which made the brand quite popular. According to the sales record, the sales went up by around half last year to about 6,500 units.
On the other side of the automaker’s hype, the Ford Family was awarded the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award this weekend in Indianapolis. The award coincided with the 75th anniversary of the 1932 Ford. Edsel B. Ford II, the great-grandson of Henry Ford – founder of the company, received the award.
“I accept this on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Ford employees who preceded me, who work with me now and who will come after me,” said Ford. “It really was the entire Ford Motor Company that produced the ’32 Ford.” The 32 does not only showcase classic Ford body parts but powerful performance as well.
The said award is given annually at the Hot Rod and Restoration Trade Show. Previous awardees include racing legends like Carroll Shelby and Andy Granatelli and automotive designers like George Barris.
“This is the first time the award has honored an entire family instead of an individual,” said Dick Messer, the director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “There are no more deserving recipients than the two men who literally started the performance industry, Henry and Edsel Ford.”
“I expect there will be hundreds of ’32’s of all iterations, from stock cars to panel vans to hot rods,” said Keith Crain, the publisher of Automotive News. “It will be a great way to appreciate the history of Ford.”
Katie Jones writes for a local newspaper and her beat involves the latest updates in the automotive industry. She is also working on her book on cars during her spare time.
It was still dark outside on October 19, 2008 when I woke up from my restful slumber at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. I heard some noises, looked outside and saw hundreds of people on the sidewalk on Washington Avenue: the Detroit Marathon was on! I decided to get dressed quickly and check out the action. The Detroit Marathon is the only marathon world-wide that features an underwater portion (the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel), and its international course linking Windsor (on the Canadian side) and Detroit makes it unique. I enjoyed the busy atmosphere of runners and onlookers and walked south to the Detroit River to catch a beautiful red and orange sunrise. After my brisk morning walk and a nice breakfast at the hotel my friend Linda and I embarked on a trip to Dearborn, Michigan, to visit The Henry Ford, the largest indoor-outdoor history museum complex in the United States. The indoor exhibits include the vehicle that President Kennedy was shot in as well as the real bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat and effectively triggered the Civil Rights Movement. Other highlights include the chair that President Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot. One of our favourites was the Dymaxion House, inventor Buckminster Fullers futuristic round suspended house, originally conceptualized in 1927. The outdoor grounds include Greenfield Village which encompasses almost 100 historical buildings that were moved here to recreate an America of yesteryear. A steam …