Aston Martin is part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG) alongside Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, although its operation is on a much smaller scale. City estimates put the Newport Pagnell company’s worth at $1billion – a drop in the ocean compared to Ford’s debts. In December it pumped £1.2bn into loss-making Jaguar.
Ford chairman Bill Ford said: ‘As part of our strategic review, we have determined that Aston Martin may be an attractive opportunity to raise capital.
‘Since Aston Martin’s dealer network, product architecture and size are distinctly different from other Ford brands, it is the most logical divestiture choice.’
Ford added that no decisions had yet been made on the future of the other PAG brands – notably Jaguar and Land Rover.
One potential bidder for Aston Martin is LVMH – the luxury goods firm which includes brands such as Moët & Chandon champagne, Louis Vuitton fashion goods and TAG Heuer watches.