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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 20:45 GMT
Aston Martin 'has great future'
Aston martin
Aston Martin now has "more flexibility," David Bailey said
The future of Aston Martin depends on financing of future models and retaining links with Ford, according to a Midlands motor industry expert.

David Bailey, of Birmingham Business School, said the Warwickshire firm had "more flexibility" now that it was "free of the constraints of Ford".

But he said the company needed to keep access to the US firm's technology.

He added that Ford could sell Jaguar and Land Rover - also based in the Midlands - to ease its money worries.

Jaguar has a plant in Castle Bromwich while Land Rovers are made in Solihull.

Mr Bailey said: "I think Ford are in such deep problems, they've just remortgaged their assets for $23bn, it really depends on how they burn cash over the next few years.

'Credible figure'

"But Land Rover and Jaguar aren't out of the woods yet."

Ford's executive vice president, Lewis Booth, told the BBC that, while the firm was not considering selling the brands, it was "always looking at our portfolio".

Mr Bailey said the sale of Aston Martin to Oxford-based Dave Richards was good news for the firm, which is based in Gaydon.

"Certainly David Richards is a very credible figure," he said.

"I think there are two key issues - where the money is coming from for new model development, and will they get access to Ford technology?

"If they get these right they've got a great future."

He said that being free of Ford would mean delays to new models, such as the shelving of plans to release the Rapide Four-Door Aston Martin last year, would be less likely to happen.

The history of the famous Aston Martin name

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