Aston Martin went public earlier this month, and part of an initial public offering process is tons and tons of paperwork including financial disclosures. Usually it’s a very dull process, but for Aston, it was interesting, as some documents mentioned sale of the tooling for the recently-replaced Aston Martin Vanquish, which probably means somebody is up to something.
On page 168 of Aston’s public offering prospectus were details of a sale of design drawings and tooling of the Aston Martin Vanquish to a mystery company for $26 million back in June, according to Automotive News. I asked Aston Martin what that was all about, and they told me it was a secret:
Aston Martin Lagonda entered into a contract within its Aston Martin Consulting business to sell certain assets and to license certain related intellectual property and know-how to a third party car manufacturer.
We are not able to discuss certain conditions of the commercial arrangement.
Aston Martin Consulting’s part of the deal also included 18 months of, well, consulting for whoever or whichever company scooped up the Vanquish details, assumedly to help whoever it is with building stuff of their own. The main question now is, “what stuff?”
It’s an interesting sale, but the extra cash is probably a nice bow on the end of the flagship Vanquish for Aston, which was replaced this year by the new DBS Superleggera.
Considering whoever bought the designs and tooling can’t just build old Aston Martins, at least not identical copies to the Vanquishes Aston itself used to manufacture, it’s possible they could base a different car off of the Vanquish’s basic structure, powertrain and possibly some of the general styling shape. If whoever it is does plan on building and selling cars, it’s very likely it would end up with proportions extremely similar to a Vanquish.
This could be some sort of company that currently specializes in car customization, like “Mansory or Ares,” as Autonews points out, or Zagato, which is very much in the Vanquish sales game already, or perhaps even an automotive parts supplier looking to step up to building and selling its own cars without having to do all of the hard development stuff.
A more reserved approach could just be an outsourcing of parts manufacturing for Vanquish owners looking to keep their Astons roadworthy, but $26 million seems like a big investment for the parts of one low volume car.