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Aston Martin will be a ‘challenge’ for new owner

The new owners of Aston Martin must prove themselves capable of making a niche brand prosperous, says Garel Rhys, automotive professor at Cardiff University business school.

“It will be a challenge to make a small, standalone company succeed,” he says. Aston Martin was bought by a consortium led by David Richards, owner of Prodrive, from Ford for £450m. Ford will retain a 15% stake.

“Even though it’s been profitable for Ford, in four or five years they would have had to fund new models,” says Rhys.

“Maybe they thought the profits weren’t big enough for this.”

Rhys believes the change in ownership will not affect dealers as the company will remain under the same management.

“Though the new owners want to expand the business, they aim to do this mostly through exports, so sales and distribution in the UK will remain the same.”

Prodrive, which already runs the Aston Martin racing team, bought the business with John Sinders, Investment Dar and Adeem Investment. They plan on growth, profitability and new products, starting with DBS and Rapide.

Ulrich Benz remains chief executive. He says the new Rapide will add 1,000 to 2,000 cars to annual sales.

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