Calling 007 - your mission is to determine what is really going on with Aston Martin….

Historically, the British car industry was once one of the most revered in the world. Prestige Marques such as Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lotus, TVR and Aston Martin were synonymous with the industry, and at one point back in the 1950’s the UK was the world’s second largest manufacturer of automobiles after the US.

However, in recent years the British motor industry, particularly its high profile and prestigious brands, has been a target for foreign manufacturers or investment companies. Aston Martin, one of the most prestigious British automobile makers, and the “must have” car for footballers and their “WAGs”, was sold by Ford to a financial consortium consisting of two private individuals and the Kuwaiti-based Investment Dar Company and Adeem Investment Company for a reported USD 868m back in 2007.

The recent launch of Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, has seemingly coincided with considerable media speculation as to the future ownership of Aston Martin. This has resulted in a denial by chief executive Ulrich Bez that the business is for sale, but confirmation that there would be no shortage of interested parties.

His statement to Autotrader magazine at the beginning of October seems to have temporarily calmed media speculation. But the last 48 hours has seen both Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra of India touted as interested parties.

“So Mr. Bond, we need to determine if this fabulous car manufacturer is really for sale, and if so, identify a buyer who can bring this uniquely British brand back to our shores”.