The Detroit News just reported that the winning bid for Aston Martin might be a little lower than we originally thought. The group of investors led by Prodrive's David Richards is about to close the deal for about £450 million ($870 million). That's a full 10 percent lower than we just reported yesterday. The £500 million guess would have been half of Ford's initial asking price for the British luxury sports car maker. Whatever the final price, we still believe Ford will keep an interest in Aston Martin, as it is A-M's number one parts supplier. Also, Ulrich Bez should stay on as chief, despite having submitted his own bid for the company.

As the company already running the racing team for Aston-Martin, Prodrive would consolidate management and ownership of the company's headquarters, research and production facilities in Gaydon, England. Aston Martin is a small but valuable marque that has links to not only racing prowess, but to James Bond, as well. That image is priceless to some and apparently worth about $870 million to others.

[Source: The Detroit News]