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DATE News (chronologically)
04/29/09
f1
Aston Martin F1 team eyes Gulf investors  Aston Martin, which plans to start a Formula One racing team, will almost certainly include Gulf involvement and the move may lead to the manufacture of certain technology and materials in the region, according to the company’s chairman.

David Richards, who is also chairman of Aston Martin’s racing arm, Prodrive, said that plans for a F1 team had been in the pipeline since he sold his last racing team in 2004, and he explained that his current visit to Qatar was part of a trip to outline the team’s plans to prospective investors.

Aston Martin has already received Gulf investment, with Kuwaiti supporters investing in the company two and a half years ago.

Referring to recent investments in Mercedes Benz by Abu Dhabi, and a prospective investment in Porche by Qatar, Richards explained that countries in the region currently seemed to be getting involved with as many European car manufacturers as possible.

Although only a couple of hundred Aston Martins were sold in the Gulf last year, Richards said the company was investing more into the region. He said the next year would hopefully see the number of sales increase to around 1,500 or 2,000.

A “significant” part of this growth may be the new Lagonda, a “high-end luxury 4x4 vehicle”, which Richards claimed would be successful in the Gulf where it might be a more appropriate purchase than a sports car.

And part of the brands development into the future will also include efforts to improve sustainability and reduce the environmental impact, not only of the cars themselves, but of the whole process of manufacturing the products as well – “something that Aston Martin has already implemented”.

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