If you think that Tata Motors's buyout of Jaguar-Land Rover was something of a dream come true to Indian motoring, wait till you hear this – Mahindra&Mahindra is being approached for a possible buyout of Aston Martin.
The buyout of Aston Martin by Mahindra won't mean a saber-toothed grille will feature on the Vanquish and the mHawk will be shoehorned under the upcoming Lagonda SUV or sedan. Mahindra would infuse capital using which Aston Martin can work on new technologies and platforms. There are no synergies Mahindra can explore with Aston Martin as things stand now as Aston is a luxury sports car maker and Mahindra, along with Ssangyong, manufacture mini trucks and SUVs.
Aston Martin, more popularly known as ‘Bond Car’, has been going through tough times since the early 2000s. The Ford era ended in 2007 and a Kuwait investment group called Investment Dar Co took charge of Aston Martin. However, the group has hit financial troubles and wants to sell its 64% stake in the Gaydon-based automaker.
The biggest news is that Mahindra&Mahindra has been approached by Investment Dar for a potential buyout. If the deal finalizes, Mahindra will have to shell out USD 805 million (Rs. 4,400 crore) for the British marque. However, Mahindra is not the only automaker in the potential suit of Aston Martin. Toyota, the Japanese czar, is also interested in the British firm. Toyota's president Mr. Akio Toyoda is a big fan of driving, and he is the kind of the person who may not consider defeat as an option in this bidding.
Aston Martin has no backing from bigger automakers for financial/technical help. On the other hands, rivals such as Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, etc have a bigger automaker supporting them in developing platforms and technologies. Thus, if the ‘Bond Car’ needs to stay alive for another century, it needs the backing of either Mahindra or Toyota to sail it through.
Whatever Mahindra has touched, can turn to gold. The Logan, XUV500 and the Ssangyong turnaround are a few successes from the last 12-18 months.
If you have been following my writeups on IndianAutosBlog.com, you would know by now I am a huge Aston Martin fan. Thus, I will be keeping a close watch on the deal with my fingers crossed.