The story of Aston Martin’s rise from a two-man operation working from a small London workshop to a globally respected marque has been long, colourful and often dramatic.
Founded in 1913 by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin as ‘Bamford & Martin Ltd’, the company has developed into an iconic brand synonymous with luxury and elegance. 1914 saw the birth of the name ‘Aston Martin’ following one of Lionel Martin’s successful runs at the Aston Hill Climb in Buckinghamshire, England. Within a year the first Aston Martin had been built and registered with the name, and an icon of the automotive world was born.
Celebrate a remarkable heritage, exploring a century of automotive excellence. From the very first Aston Martin – the inimitable “Coal Scuttle” – through the iconic David Brown “DB” era and a peerless collection of beautiful cars, right up to modern day and the spectacular One-77 supercar, the most exclusive Aston Martin of the new era.
The company has had a chequered financial history, including bankruptcy in the 1970s, but has also enjoyed long periods of success and stability, including under the ownership of David Brown, from 1947 to 1972 and of the Ford Motor Company from 1994 to 2007.
In March 2007, a consortium of investors, led by David Richards, purchased 92% of Aston Martin for £479 million, with Ford retaining a £40 million stake. David Richards became chairman of Aston Martin. In December 2012, the Italian private equity fund Investindustrial signed a deal to buy 37.5% of Aston Martin, investing £150 million as a capital increase.
In late 2012, Investment Dar reviewed its stake, with Mahindra & Mahindra emerging as a potential bidder for as much as half of Aston Martin. Instead, Italian private equity fund Investindustrial signed a deal on 6 December 2012 to buy 37.5% of Aston Martin, investing £150 million as a capital increase.
This was confirmed by Aston Martin in a press release on 7 December 2012. In April 2013 it was reported that Dr Ulrich Bez would be leaving his role as chief executive officer to take up a more ambassadorial position widely seen as the first move by the new shareholders in reviewing the leadership and strategy of the company. On 2 September 2014, Aston Martin announced they had appointed the Nissan executive Andy Palmer as their new CEO with Ulrich Bez retaining a position as Non-Executive Chairman. As sales had been declining, from 2015 Aston Martin sought new customers (particularly wealthy female buyers) with cars like Lagonda and DBX while releasing concepts cars like the Vulcan.
In 2013 Aston Martin signed a deal with Daimler AG to supply new Mercedes-AMG power plants for the next generation line up. Daimler AG now owns 5% of Aston Martin. Mercedes-AMG will also supply Aston Martin with electrical systems. This technical partnership will support Aston Martin’s launch of a new generation of models that will incorporate new technology and V8s. The first model to sport Mercedes technology is the DB11, announced at the 2016 Geneva Motor, sporting Mercedes electronics for the entertainment, navigation and other systems.
Aston Martin Cars