Ford Motor Company announced that it has begun the process of “exploring strategic options” for its Aston Martin brand, with particular emphasis on a potential sale of all or a portion of the unit.
Aston Martin is one of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG) brands. Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo are the others. Given Ford’s financial situation, there has been much speculation over the possible sell-off of some or all of the PAG brands.
As part of our ongoing strategic review, we have determined that Aston Martin may be an attractive opportunity to raise capital and generate value. Since Aston Martin’s dealer network, product architecture and size are distinctly different from other Ford brands, it is the most logical and capital-smart divestiture choice. The objective of any sale would be to position Aston Martin within a structure and resource base sufficient to allow it to reach its full potential, while enabling Ford to efficiently raise capital for its other brands.—Bill Ford, Chairman and CEO
Ford said that the company had as yet made no decisions as to the fate of the other PAG brands. He did note, though that the company is “encouraged by Jaguar’s progress and by the strength and consumer appeal of the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo product lineups.”
In July, Ford UK announced that it will spend at least £1 billion (US$1.8 billion) to develop a range of global environmental technologies in the UK for its Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands. (Earlier post.)
That project is designed to deliver more than 100 models and derivatives that reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, including for example, a regular Ford Focus capable of more than 58 miles per gallon US and CO2 emissions of less than 100 g/km.
In June, Ford announced that it will establish a development center for hybrid systems in Gothenburg, Sweden, to serve Ford’s Premier Automotive Group and Ford of Europe business units. Further, Volvo said that it will invest SEK 10 billion (US$1.4 billion) in environmental R&D to improve fuel economy and tailpipe emissions of its global fleet. (Earlier post.)