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Aston Martin for sale

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The company that makes James Bond’s favorite car is up for sale. Ford is selling Aston Martin. If you want to buy one you’ll need to write a big check. They go for between $110,000 and $175,000 dollars in the U.S. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: It never made a profit until last year, but Aston Martin has been a star for almost half a century, first appearing as James Bond’s gadget laden vehicle in 1964:

[
Clip from “Goldfinger”:
Q: You’ll release this section of the roof, and engage and then fire the passenger ejector seat.
James Bond: Eject seat? You’re joking.
Q: I never joke about my work, 007.
]

Ford isn’t joking either. Having lost more than a billion dollars this year it’s planning to shed some of its luxury brands, including possibly Jaguar.

Aston Martin is on the block, but who is going to buy?

Analyst Kevin Morley:

KEVIN MORLEY: It’s not really going to be that much of a rational purchase. It will be very much a trophy purchase for any of the Private Equity firms looking for a bit of publicity and image.

Trophies aren’t cheap. Ford reportedly wants $2 billion for Aston. Analysts reckon that in spite of its star status it’s only really worth half that.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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