Aston’s recent bad financial results may have in part been driven by the falling through of a £19 million deal with an unnamed company, which was set to buy intellectual property relating to the discontinued Vanquish. The Gaydon car maker, which reported an operating loss of £35.2m for 2019’s first half (it made a £64.4m profit last year), was reportedly selling assets and licencing relating to the former V12 range-topper to a Chinese buyer, presumably to enable it to produce a version of the car in the Asian market.
But Automotive News has revealed that the deal has fallen through, with a spokesperson for Aston Martin stating: "The commercial position on this contract has deteriorated with significant doubt remaining over the outstanding receivable”, which sounds like it’s done and dusted. The hit to Aston will be substantial; its stock prices have halved since last year and estimated deliveries for 2019 have been reduced from 7,100 to 6,300 cars. This comes at a time the company is investing heavily in its St Athan site to get DBX production rolling in 2020.
The struggles mean the DBX will now arrive with an even more enormous weight on its shoulders, the SUV expected to turn sales fortunes around and set Aston Martin on a path of sustained growth in the next decade. There’s plenty more to be optimistic about, what with electrification also part of the agenda, the Valkyrie on course to become a worthy halo product and the relaunching of Lagonda set to extend Aston’s reach. But the financial troubles of today are undoubtedly worrying.
Original story - 24.10.2018
Aston Martin has made the bizarre decision to sell the designs and tooling for its Vanquish just a few months after the super-GT went out of production. A spokesman for the Gaydon firm, which has received £19 million for the deal, told PH that a third-party customer would receive “certain assets” and “license [to use] certain related intellectual property and know-how” for their cash.
Automotive News first spotted the deal buried on page 168 of Aston’s 321-page initial public offering prospectus that was released in September, but the document made no mention of who bought the Vanquish rights. Aston still isn’t willing to budge, telling PH that it is “not able to discuss certain conditions of the commercial arrangement”. Although the spokesman did mention that the customer reached out to Aston, rather than the car brand putting the Vanquish Mk2 up for sale.
Which begs the question, who would want the design of the second-generation Vanquish, that gorgeous but somewhat outdated (it was launched back in 2012) two-door coupe? A design house intent on producing its own production model seems likely. Ares and Mansory have both fiddled with Astons in recent years, but what about Bradford-based Kahn Design? The firm produced the DB9-based Vengeance a couple of years back and with no new supply of base cars for that, buying the rights for another Aston model might help keep supply flowing.
Either way, it’s likely the ‘new’ Vanquish won’t look much like the original, because Aston closely protects its design language (remember the faff it got into with former design director Henrik Fisker and his VLF Force 1 design). But it’s possible that it could retain a V12, with the Vanquish having used Aston’s old naturally aspirated 6.0-litre unit, which has since been superseded by its twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre motor. It all depends how far the “assets” in the deal extend.
The story doesn’t end there, either, because Aston’s spokesman told PH that the brand could be open to more projects like this in the future. Given that the marque has so many iconic models in its back catalogue, this could be an easy way to raise funds and grow its - already ailing - share price, a key focus for Aston since it listed on the London Stock Exchange earlier this month.
But for now let’s get back to the main question. Who’s bought the Mk. II Vanquish?
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