Headlines were matter-of-fact: ‘Aston Martin revved up for sale' (The Daily Telegraph, 31 August); ‘Cash-hit Ford sells Aston Martin' (The Sun, 31 August), and displayed no angst about the sale of ‘the supreme model of British automotive expertise' (The Business, 3 September).
Indeed, some believed Aston Martin would fare better outside the Ford marque: ‘007 would promptly down a vodka Martini to celebrate the release of the once-independent thoroughbred from the Ford Motor Company's financially troubled stable,' commented warc.com (1 September).
Russian businessmen, private equity groups and Aston Martin's management team were variously touted as future potential owners. ‘It is one of those assets - you might be surprised from where the interest comes,' noted one analyst (tiscali.co.uk, 3 September), amid predictions Ford would get a good price. ‘The irrational appeal of such a famous car will jack up the price,' commented The Business (3 Sep).
It could turn out that Aston Martin has given Ford a licence to make a killing.