Few platforms have served as well as Aston Martin's VH architecture. The flexible platform has underpinned everything the automaker has produced (save the bespoke One-77) since 2003, but it's growing a little long in the tooth. Little wonder, then, that Aston is pursuing a new platform, and the company has now confirmed it has obtained the funding to get there.
The financial backing comes from a bond issue, bringing in £304 million ($487 million) from investors. With the capital in place, sources anticipate Aston will begin working on its next generation of vehicles in 2012, with the first of the new models to debut in 2015 or 2016.
The question at this point is where that new platform will come from. Aston could develop the new architecture in-house, but the likely scenario has it adapting the aluminum platform from the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG as part of a new arrangement being discussed with Daimler to produce a new range of Maybach and Lagonda limousines together.
We'll found out sooner or later, but in the meantime, Aston is expected to facelift its entire core range over the next couple of years to keep them fresh – and compliant with new regulations, particularly concerning pedestrian impact. Follow the jump for the press release on the bond issue, and watch this space for more information as it emerges.
ASTON MARTIN HOLDINGS (UK) LIMITED ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF £304,000,000 SENIOR SECURED NOTE ISSUE
Tuesday 22nd June: Gaydon. Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Limited is pleased to announce the successful completion of its offering of £304,000,000 aggregate principal amount of Senior Secured Notes (the "Notes").
The issue of the Notes will provide long-term financial stability for the next seven years and support Aston Martin's continued development.
Dr Ulrich Bez, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin, commented: "Our successful bond issue represents a milestone and provides strong, long-term financial foundations for the company as we enter a new phase of growth.
"We have already demonstrated the strength of our brand and business model, as evidenced by last year's 36% rise in sales and 61% increase in EBITDA. The success of the bond issue highlights investor recognition of our capabilities and confidence in our strategy.
"We have a proven record of bringing cars to market very quickly with our flexible VH architecture and highly efficient manufacturing capabilities. This, coupled with our globally renowned brand enabled Aston Martin to remain robust and resilient during the economic downturn.
"We now have long-term financing in place alongside our current product range and development pipeline, which are the strongest in our history. Our growth will be driven both by the continuing recovery in our traditional markets and the opening up of new markets. With our firm financial platform, we look forward to capitalising on the many opportunities ahead of us."
Aston Martin is a modern, exclusive sports car brand with a unique heritage instantly recognised around the world. The luxury marque distinctively fuses the latest technology, time-honoured craftsmanship and graceful styling to produce a range of critically acclaimed performance sports cars that have elevated Aston Martin to a position as one of the world's coolest brands.