David Richards is reportedly working on a deal to buy car company Aston Martin. He will be bidding against several others, including an Egyptian investment bank. Ford are auctioning off Aston Martin, despite the fact it is a profitable part of their business.
If he did buy Aston Martin, it’s location would be ideal – they have a purpose built factory in Warwickshire close to Prodrive’s current HQ and also close to the proprosed new site for Prodrive – Honiley Airfield in Wroxall. Prodrive are planning an advanced engineering R&D complex as well as a conference facility and test track.
The question is what Richards has planned for the future if he is successful in his bid. Potentially, the bid could be linked to Formula 1, or, Richards could be selling off his franchise in Formula 1 to pay for his new venture. The Formula 1 link would be a good bet – Aston Martin have a long history in motorsports and they are one of the most prestigious sports car brands in the world. With declining numbers of cars sold recently, a Formula 1 association would be a firm boon for the company. Prodrive themselves already have connections with the sports-car brand too – they build racing versions of the car and they have a deal to allow them to build and sell road-legal versions of the cars.
Prodrive are hoping to partner an existing Formula 1 team. However, there are strong rumours flying around that Ron Dennis is interested in buying Prodrive, so who knows what the future holds for these two brands.