Aston Martin, film Bond’s favorite ride, faces new uncertainty

Iconic publicity still for Goldfinger with Sean Connery leaning against the Aston Martin DB5.

Aston Martin, the preferred ride for the film James Bond (not so much the literary version), isn’t having a good time. In fact, the maker of luxury-car makers faces a lot of uncertainty.

The Guardian, in a Jan. 7 report, said Aston Martin’s financial results are faltering.

James Bond’s favourite car marque is now predicting adjusted profits of between £130m and £140m for 2019 – almost half the £247m it made the previous year. Analysts had been forecasting profits of £196m. Over the first nine months of 2019, Aston Martin racked up a pretax loss of more than £92m.

But that’s not all.

The Financial Times (CLICK HERE to see a Bloomberg summary of the FT story) has reported that Geely, a Chinese automaker, is interested in acquiring a stake in the automaker. Here’s an excerpt of a Bloomberg summary of the FT story:

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. of China has held talks with management and investors in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc about taking a stake in the U.K. carmaker, the Financial Times reported.

(snip)

The company said last month it was in talks with potential investors, and this week showed the depth of its financial troubles by reporting a severe decline in profit in its first full year as a listed company.

Geely is conducting due diligence, the FT said Friday, citing unidentified sources. A technology partnership is also a potential outcome of talks, the British newspaper said.

Some perspective: Aston Martin is a runt in the global auto industry. It was owned by Ford Motor Co from 1987 to 2007. Ford was in the midst of a financial crisis in the 2000s and unloaded Aston Martin to a group of investors.

In 2008, Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to India’s Tata Motors. Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover have all figured into James Bond films after Ford divested them.

Regardless, Aston Martin figures into the Bond film series since 1964’s Goldfinger.

Periodically, Aston Martin talks about diversifying from James Bond. No luck, so far. Four (or so) Aston models, past and present, will be in No Time to Die.

At best, Aston Martin faces an uncertain future.

UPDATE (Jan. 11): An outlet called Autocar, in a Jan. 10 story, reported that Aston Martin won’t proceed with a production version of its Raptide E electric car. Instead, the vehicle will become a “research project” for further Aston electrification efforts.

At one time, the Raptide E reportedly was going to be in No Time to Die but that didn’t happen.

One Response

  1. Daimler Benz (Mercedes) already has a 10% stake in AM. The fact that AM made ANY profit is amazing, for the simple reason that it had spent most of its existence losing money. The new Aston Martin SUV coming out in 2021 should help the company greatly, as the market for expensive 2-seat spors cars is very limited. The new SUVs Porsche introduced saved it from closing down.

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