Ford wants to sell Aston Martin brand

Aug. 31, 2006 at 11:17 AM
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DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co., the No. 2 U.S. carmaker struggling to shed assets to regain profitability, wants to sell its prestigious British Aston Martin business.

The carmaker said Thursday in a statement that it "has begun the process of exploring strategic options for Aston Martin, with particular emphasis on a potential sale of all or a portion of the unit."

Aston Martin is part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, which includes Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo.

Ford spokesman Tom Hoyt said, "Aston Martin, overall, is profitable." He, however, declined to characterize Aston Martin's earnings or profitability in recent quarters.

"Regarding our other Premier Automotive Group brands, we've made no decisions, as our review of strategic alternatives continues," Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford said. "However, we continue to be encouraged by Jaguar's progress and by the strength and consumer appeal of the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo product lineups."

For the six months ending June 30, Ford's revenues fell 7 percent to $83.02 billion as it posted an overall loss of $1.4 billion.

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