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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 September 2006, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Aston Martin sell-off 'good move'
Aston Martin DBS
Fictional spy James Bond famously drives an Aston Martin
A motoring expert has said it could be a good move for Ford to sell off Aston Martin, which is based in Warwickshire.

The US firm has announced largescale restructuring plans which could involve the sale of the Gaydon firm.

But Ford said it would not be selling Jaguar, which has sites in the West Midlands, Coventry and Warwickshire.

Dr Charles Tennant, a motoring expert at Warwick University, said he believed the sale of Aston Martin would benefit both parties.

"They are selling about 4,500 units per year. I think Aston Martin would fit better in a different corporate culture - a smaller organisation," said Dr Tennant.

Widespread job cuts

"And I guess Ford would be very sensible to realise the asset value of that company as part of their restructuring plans."

The Detroit-based firm announced it was cutting 14,000 white-collar jobs in North America by 2008 in an attempt to turn around recent losses.

Redundancies of 25,000 to 30,000 of its blue-collar workers in North America, announced earlier this year, were brought forward four years to be completed by 2008.

Despite mounting speculation among motoring experts, the firm said it would not sell off Jaguar, part of its Premier Automotive Group which also includes Aston Martin, Land Rover and Volvo.

The division has been struggling and Ford said recently that it expected it to lose more money this year.

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