Now that Ford is no longer in control of Aston Martin, AutoCar had a chat with new AM Chairman David Richards about the future of the no-longer-as-exclusive, but still very expensive British car maker. Richards made clear that Ulrich Bez is still very much in charge of day to day operations at Aston, and he represents the owners and helps plot strategy. The company that produced only a few hundred cars a year as recently as fifteen years ago is now closing in on five figure annual sales.

To help achieve that, a replacement for the Vanquish that's based on the DBS (above) that appeared in the last James Bond movie will be in production soon. Likewise, the four-door Rapide should be ready by 2009. The DB in Aston's model names stood for former owner David Brown, who rescued the company in the 1950s. Apparently Richards is not keen on the idea of changing the nomenclature to reflect his own initials, so future models will still be named for Mr. Brown.

[Source: AutoCar]