Aston Martin Could Be In Trouble If Brexit Pushes Through With No Trade Deal In Place With The European Union
As much progress as Aston Martin has had in recent years of re-establishing itself as one of the best marquee brands in the world, everything it has built could come crumbling down by forces that are completely out of its control. Welcome, then, to the affairs of the present-day United Kingdom, where the looming Brexit move continues to hover over the whole country like a dark and foreboding cloud. Any and all British companies could be affected by it, and Aston Martin has made it clear that if the U.K. fails to strike a Brexit deal with the European Union, the British automaker would have to stop production of its cars in the U.K., effectively stalling its business until the issues are settled.
The doomsday scenario is a very real one for Aston Martin has no less than finance chief, Mark Wilson, described it as having a “semi-catastrophic effect” on the company. A big part of Aston’s concern focuses on having to recertify approvals with other regions so they can sell their cars in those markets. That includes Chinese approval in China, approval on a federal level in the U.S., or E.U. approval, should it come to the point that the company would need to apply for one. If it does come to that, Wilson admitted that it would mean that Aston would have to temporarily stop its production. The issue isn’t as big of a deal today since the U.K. is still technically part of the E.U. But if Brexit does happen without some kind of trade deal in place, the validity of all U.K.-made cars that are headed to E.U. will be in limbo. And if Aston Martin can’t move these units, it’s not going to make them in the first place, hence the potential of a cease in production. Clearly, the political uncertainty of Brexit comes at a horrendous time for Aston Martin has the automaker has just started to pick up momentum in its goal of reinventing itself as a prized automaker. This situation is still fluid, though, so anything can still happen but, if worst comes to worst, it might be prudent to start preparing for situations like this. And, I’m not just talking about Aston Martin; I’m talking about the U.K.’s entire trade infrastructure with the whole world getting thrown into chaos.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
If there is a limited-edition vehicle that people with deep pockets should taken notice of, Aston Martin’s DBR1-inspired CC100 Speedster is likely it.
Unfortunately, if you were late to the party, you won’t be able to get your hands on one. The concept, which Aston built to celebrate the British automaker’s 100th anniversary, has now been scooped up by what we can only imagine to be a financially well off collector. After all, he paid around $770,000 for the chance to own the car so he clearly has enough money left on his bank account to absorb that kind of monetary hit.
According to Autocar, there will be a second CC1000 to be built, but like the first model, that one’s already accounted for after Aston Martin was commissioned to build it. Aston Martin’s already building that car and the lucky fella who paid an equal premium for it is expected to take delivery of a literal two-of-a-kind vehicle later this year.
We don’t know about you, but if we had the finances to make that kind of splurge, we wouldn’t hesitate in following the footsteps of these two men.
Rarely do you chance upon a concept as cool and as riveting as the CC100 and the chance of owning one is something our bank accounts would have taken a hit for without even blinking.
That is if our accounts were fat enough to do so.
Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin CC100 Speedster
Dr. Ulrich Bez, the man largely responsible for the modern range of Aston Martin vehicles, is expected to step down from his post as CEO, Autocar UK reports.
Bez’s departure as CEO will leave a huge hole in the Aston Martin’s management, ending a 13-year run that began when he assumed the job as chief executive and chairman back in July 2000.
As soon as he vacates his CEO seat, Bez is expected to remain with the company and serve more of an ambassadorial role in the company. That’s a good thing for Aston Martin because Bez’s imprint in the British automaker is unmistakable.
In addition to being the driving force behind the recent range of Aston Martin models, Bez also led the company’s move to build a world-class manufacturing facility in Gaydon, among his many accomplishments.
Aston Martin has yet to confirm Bez’s departure, but according to Autocar, a new CEO will be named later this year.
We’ll keep you updated on any new information surrounding this development.
Click past the jump to see a few cars Aston Martin built under Dr. Ulrich Bez’s watch
With premium automakers like Bentley, Porsche, Land Rover, and Lamborghini all being snatched up by more mainstream automakers, like Volkswagen and, dare we say, Tata, it is pretty obvious that it’s tough going for independent, niche automakers. Even Ferrari, which is doing extremely well so far in 2012, has a parent company in Fiat S.p.A.
Aston Martin is one of the few niche automakers that is almost going it alone, as Ford only holds a 15-percent share in the premium sports car company and the rest is shared between privateer David Richards, and Kuwaiti investment firms Investment Dar and Adeem Investment Co. Of those three, Investment Dar owns the majority of the company, which sits at 68 percent.
According to reports from Bloomberg Businessweek, Investment Dar is searching for a new home for Aston, but having a rough time selling the brand. It is trying to sell its share of the company for the same $800 million that it bought the company for just five years ago. One possible buyer is Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the current owner of SsanYong, but it appears as if Mahindra is not in the market to blow that kind of cash on the British automaker.
Another potential suitor, which is a bit of a surprise, is Toyota. The Japanese automaker actually went as far as to hire an outside auditor to do a week-long survey on the possibility of buying Aston Martin. From the looks of things, that audit didn’t turn out too well, as that happened two months ago and there is still no movement by Toyota.
As expected, Toyota and Mahindra declined to comment on the situation, and Investment Dar outright denied the claims that Aston is up for sale. Regardless of denials and lack of confirmation, the debt that Aston Martin has accumulated – about 1.37 billion dinars ($4.9 billion at the current exchange rates) – via an Islamic bond needs to be paid off and selling the company may be the only option.
Short of that, we may see Aston Martin go the way of the dodo bird…
On August 27, 2012, U.K. banks are closed for a holiday and supercars are set to run wild in celebration of this holiday. At the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, the Supercar Showdown will take place and we will all get a good glimpse and listen to what these cars have to offer.
Some of the cars in this year’s Supercar Showdown include: Jaguar XJ220, Ferrari F40, Ferrari F50, Ferrari 360 Spyder, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes-Benz SLS, Ultima GTR Can-AM, Lightning GT Carbon, Ascari KZ1 GT3 racecar, and Aston Martin GT2. That, of course, is not an exhaustive list of all of this year’s participants, but it gives us a great idea of what to expect.
The guest list also includes a laundry list of car clubs that are sure to bring numerous hot cars to the National Motor Museum. This year, there will be a course set up in the museum’s parking lot, so you can watch these supercars do what they do best, navigate a road course, though we doubt it will be a timed race, but rather a friendly drive.
You also can get involved in the show, as you can vote on the People’s Choice Award for the best supercar at the show. The winner of this award receives a 60th anniversary Beaulieu trophy and tons of bragging rights.
To get into the show, all you need to do is purchase a general Beaulieu attraction admission ticket and you’re good to go. You can get tickets online at the rate of ₤18 for adults, ₤16.65 for those 60 years and older, ₤10.80 for those 13 to 17 years old, and ₤8,95 for those 5 to 12 years old. Alternatively, you can pick up family admission tickets, which are good for two adults and up to three children for just ₤47.25. This ticket also gives you admission to the museum, World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, Beaulieu Abbey, and Palace House and Garden.
Over the past few days, we’ve seen a lot of crossover products from partnerships between automakers and various other companies.
Not one to be left out in the cold, Aston Martin wants to keep our feet warm and stylish, thanks to its new collaboration with John Lobb to create the ultimate lightweight driver’s shoe.
Did we expect anything less from two of Britain’s finest?
The special Winner Sport shoe, which was co-designed by Aston Martin’s Director of Design Marek Reichman and John Lobb’s Creative Director Andrés Hernández, is as sleek and aerodynamic as it’s being billed to be. It’s made from full-grain calfskin and lined with supple sheepskin. Soft padding was added at the ankle to ensure maximum comfort while metallic eyelets that have been punched with a wheel of fine holes reflect the style and language of the British automaker. Lastly, the Winner Sport shoe also comes with a specially-engineered bonded rubber sole that wraps beneath the shoe, ensuring a style of sleekness and a sporting feel that few other shoes can match.
More than just the technology and expertise used in building the shoe, Winner Sport also comes in a wide palette of color combinations, including Graphite Grey, Winter Wheat, Frost White, and Saddle Tan, all of which are made with the Sporty Stratos White rubber sole. Likewise, Storm Black, Bitter Chocolate, Westminster Green, and Aurora Blue color schemes are made with Racy Fire Red rubber soles. Each color also comes with red and white laces.
The Winner Sport shoe is set to drop at selected John Lobb and Aston Martin stores on May 12, 2012. Leading up to that, the shoe will be previewed at the opening of the new Aston Martin W-One Store in London’s Park Lane and at John Lobb Jermyn Street this March.
James Bond may be a fictional character to all of us, but the dashing debonair / awesome secret agent is still an inspiration to all of us. Who wouldn’t want to be in his shoes? He’s got a killer job, he scores the hottest women, and best of all - at least in our case - he drives the fanciest cars.
That last part is such an integral part of the Bond legend that an exhibition is actually being planned to showcase the largest collection of James Bond vehicle to ever be displayed. The whole event is being prepared through the collaborative efforts of the UK’s National Motor Museum, Beaulieu and EON Productions, which is doing the groundwork for the event in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s Bond franchise.
Around 50 cars are expected to be included in the exhibit highlighted by the 2008 Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace, the 2002 Jaguar XKR with SFX weapons from Die Another Day, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye, and the 1937 Phantom lll Rolls-Royce from Goldfinger.
The exhibit will be held at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, United Kingdom and will run the entire length of the 2012 calendar year.
“Following the success of the first Bond cars exhibition staged at Beaulieu in 2001, we are delighted to be working with EON again on this new display, bringing together the world’s largest collection of Bond vehicles, Beaulieu’s Commercial Director, Stephen Munn said.
The exhibit won’t open for another few months, but it’s safe to say that we’ll be dropping by to check it out if we find ourselves in the area next year.
Let’s face it; not everybody on this planet is capable of throwing away exorbitant sums of money to buy their choice supercar. It’s unfortunate, yes, but it’s all the sad fact of reality.
The good news is that even if you can’t own a car like a Lamborghini Gallardo, it doesn’t mean that you can’t drive one, even if it means only getting to do it for a few hours.
The Silverstone circuit in the UK is offering this chance to anyone who would want to get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, or Lotus through their Supercar Thrill package. The whole thing only costs £99 - $156 – and if you pay for the privilege, you get to spend a few laps with these supercars. Now if you happen to have a particular bias towards Lamborghini, you can purchase the Lamborghini Thrill package for an even cheaper fee of just £60 - $95 – at least until December 19th, 2010.
In addition to the cursory hot laps onboard the cars, customers who avail of either package will get the chance to pick the brains of Silverstone’s racing experts, have your entire day chronicled by a professional photographer, and even get a certificate that you can proudly show off to your friends as proof that you can hang with the big boys of the racing world.
It’s not as good as having you own supercar to play with, but it’s definitely something that’s worth experiencing. After all, it’s not everyday that you can drive the wheels off of a supercar. But with this package, you’re given free reign to do so.
Check out a few videos of the experience after the jump.
We didn’t find it the least bit surprising to find out that our British chaps consider Aston Martin as the country’s “coolest” brand. Home country advantage aside, there’s a lot to like about Aston Martin, and apparently, the folks over at the UK seem to think so too.
In a survey – the Superbrands Cool Survey - conducted by the Center for Brand Analysis in the UK, Aston Martin came out on top as the coolest brand in the country, beating out 500 other companies in the study. Over 2,000 editorial and bran consultants were invited to share there inputs on a number of companies and the resulting conclusion determined that Aston Martin is the coolest brand in the UK, trumping other worldwide luminaries, including the iPhone, Harley-Davidson, Ferrari and Blackberry.
Ok, so it’s not exactly a shock to see Aston Martin on top of the UK’s cool rankings, although we can’t help but think that there may have been some form of bias here given that the study was done at the same country that Aston Martin calls home.
Continued after the jump.
Let’s face it, when you say Aston Martin Rapide, you think of a high-end luxury sedan. However, it seems not everyone thinks of it that way. Wait, what? That’s right, Aston Martin themselves have designed an even more luxurious sedan than the Rapide. It’s called the Rapide Luxe and it was just unveiled by Aston Martin UK.
The Rapide Luxe provides a combination of highly desirable functional features, a greater choice of paint and leather finishes as standard, and unique features including bespoke accessories.
This new edition will be offered with 20” 20-spoke alloy road wheels with a polished finish, full grain leather interior with a choice of colors from the Fast Track or Contemporary ranges, and a luxury entertainment set for rear passengers. This entertainment set includes a 6-disc DVD player, auxiliary input, wireless headphones, and a remote control. Oh, and, of course, unique Rapide Luxe sill plaques.
However, what is so special about the Aston Martin Rapide Luxe is that it comes with a bespoke 6 Piece luggage set (in any of the Fast Track or Contemporary leather colors) that can be ordered in the same leather as the entire interior.
The Park Stoke Club is no stranger to hosting Agent 007 in its grounds. As the setting for a number of Bond movies made over the years, you could say that the club and James Bond himself are pretty well acquainted with each other.
So it really wasn’t surprising to us to find out that four Aston Martins from four different Bond movies will be making their way to the Park Stroke Club for a nice, little tete-a-tete at the club’s Midsummer Classic event on June 26. The four Astons that will be on-hand for the event include the soon-to-be auctioned off Aston Martin DB5, the DBS, the Vanquish, and the V8 Vantage Volante.
So if you’re a Bond - and Aston Martin - fan, you better circle that date nice and clear in your calendar. You won’t find another opportunity that comes as close as this one to seeing your favorite Aston Martin-Bond cars, especially since the aforementioned DB5 will find its way into the auction block later this year.
Every waking and breathing man on this planet has, at one point in their lives, dreamed of walking in the shoes of James Bond. C’mon, don’t deny it, because we certainly won’t.
And while we can’t have anything to hang our hats on becoming James Bond for a day, there’s a chance for anybody with $75,000 to spare to be able to drive home with one of James Bond’s prized rides. Used in the movie Goldfinger, this Aston Martin DB4, which has been sitting inside a garage for the past 26 years, has been dusted off and is now being put up for sale at Aston Martin’s annual factory auction.
While the price tag may be a little steep for a car that’s been barned for a quarter of a century, it’s still only sells for one-fourth the price tag of the dilapidated Aston Martin DB5 that was being sold for over £200,000.
It’s not the same as having James Bond’s whole smorgasbord of gadgets, but having the opportunity to drive around town behind the wheel of a DB4 is about as close as it gets to driving in the shoes of England’s Greatest Weapon.
Picture are all well and good, especially when you don’t have a whole lot of options to choose from. However, as is the case, ’pictures may be worth a thousand words; videos are worth the whole library’.
When we recently scooped up photos of that divine white Aston Martin One-77 frolicking around in the streets of London on its way to the rally parade at the new Silverstone racetrack, we figured that it would only be a matter of time before videos of the whole shindig found themselves on YouTube.
Turns out, we didn’t have to wait long.
At $2 million a pop, it’s not hard for the One-77 to stand out, even if it’s accompanied by a large number of supercars. That’s exactly where the One-77 found itself as it was joined by a what’s what of supercars on its way to the Silverstone rally. Some eagle-eyed fellows managed to take a video of the supercar at the St. James district in London as it rolled around the streets with everybody possessing two eyes staring at it intently. That is, of course, the price you pay for being a $2 million supercar, something only a handful of other cars in this world can boast.
There aren’t a lot of supercars that are capable of standing out in a large supercar rally. For the rare ones that do grab your attention, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything more pleasantly eye-catching than seeing a white Aston Martin One-77 leading the pack.
The truth is, there aren’t a lot of cars in this world that are as ’beastly’ as the One-77. So when Aston Martin rolled out the superduper car for its first public outing last weekend dressed in white no less, you could say that a lot of eyebrows were raised.
Don’t worry, though. It’s not the kind of picqued curiosity associated with cars being given a touch of overkill. The white One-77 is actually beauty personified, a living contradiction of a monster of a car dressed in a clean, almost ’virginal’, white outfit.
The car was rolled out as part of the opening of the "new" Silverstone circuit in the UK where in addition to wowing the people with its new garb, the white One-77 also showed off its monstrous capabilities out on track.
Despite being a neophyte compared to its more high-profile contemporaries, the Aston Martin DB9 has definitely made quite an impression among residents of Great Britain. At least that is what it seems after the six-year old car recently came out on top of a survey done among British drivers to determine their favorite car in the past 25 years.
While the achievement is glowing in its own right - and likewise a testament to Aston Martin’s standing as one of the world’s pre-eminent high-end car brands - what makes it even more impressive is the fact that, as we’ve mentioned, the DB9 only came around as late as 2004. Eating the DB9’s dust in second place is the ever-reliable Volkswagen Golf while taking up the third step of the podium is the Mini.
Given the fact that 25 years is an eternity for car manufacturers to make an indelible imprint in the hearts and minds of consumers makes the DB9’s achievement as the car-of-choice among British drivers all the more remarkable. This is especially impressive when you consider that the Aston Martin DB9 wasn’t even around when the new millennium began.
Press release after the jump
Prince of Wales has aluminum pistons from Aston Martin DB6 Volante melted into cufflinks for charity
For a lot of us, an Aston Martin DB6 Volante is a car that should be treated with utmost care. But if you’re a member of the Royal Family of Britain, well, cars like that are pretty much expendable.
That wasn’t any more evident when the Prince of Wales decided to melt the aluminum pistons of his DB6 Volante and turn them into - of all things - cufflinks.
In fairness to the Prince of Wales, he didn’t completely lose his mind when he decided to use the DB6 Volante’s pistons because they became disposable after he converted the car’s engine to run on biofuel. So with nothing to do with the aluminum pistons, he asked TMB ArtMetal to turn them into special-edition cufflinks.
In total, 200 cufflinks were created with each having the same DB6-themed design, with matching spinners to boot. TMB ArtMetal also accented each set of cufflinks with 18ct gold, making them extremely pricy at £995 ($1,600) for one set.
For those interested in these cufflinks, it’s worth noting that all proceeds generated by these cufflinks will not go to the Prince of Wales’ pocket, but to his own youth charity, the Prince’s Trust.
Press Release after the jump
Aston Martin has announced the price tag for the 2010 Rapide and yes, you might have to sell your organs to afford one. To have the opportunity to drive home with one, you’ll need around £139,950, or if your currency is of the Benjamins kind, around $230,000.
Yes, ‘steep’ may be an understatement but once you consider what the Rapide has to offer, then the price tag becomes a little justifiable. For starters, the car has a 6.0 Liter V12 engine which, incidentally, is the same one powering the Aston Martin DB9. With that much power under its hood, the Rapide is expected to come with 470hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-60 mph time of just 5.1 seconds and a top speed of around 188 mph.
In addition to that, the Rapide also comes with a Bang & Olufsen sound system, heated memory seats, dual-cast brakes with an adaptive damping system. According to Aston Martin, the Rapide is scheduled to be delivered around March of next year and is expected to attract over 2000 sales every year. For a quarter of a million dollars, the 2010 Aston Martin Rapide can be yours. The question, are you willing to spend that much for one?
If we had the wad, we’d do it in a heartbeat.
In an unprecedented move by the CoolBrands Council, Aston Martin has been awarded the UK’s coolest brand for the second year running.
CoolBrands is an initiative operated by the Superbrands organisation and presents expert and consumer opinion on the UK’s strongest brands. It is considered to be a key barometer of the nation’s coolest brands, people and places and a benchmark for brand success.
This year’s council includes Radio One DJ Trevor Nelson, designer Ben de Lisi and Director of the (...)