Did you know? Ford and Aston Martin Partnership
Did you know that Ford used to own the British auto manufacturer Aston Martin? Upon acquiring them in 1991, Ford quickly placed Aston Martin within their Premier Automotive Group (PAG), which at the time included Ford-owned marques Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover.
Aston Martin & Ford: Modernizing Production
Up until Ford had acquired Aston Martin, their cars were being built by hand coachbuilding craft methods, which meant that production to showroom was a very slow process. Once Ford had built a factory in England dedicated to the manufacture of the DB7, Aston Martin had produced a record 700+ cars in 1995 alone, followed by the 2,000th one built by 1998. They continued to shatter production records of the previous DB models with the help of Ford with the 6,000th DB7 produced in 2002.
By 2004, Aston Martin invested back into Ford by opening their own dedicated engine production plant within Ford’s German subsidiary Ford-Werke. The idea was that Aston Martin would regain control of engine production, in which each unit was built by a hand-picked builder from a group of 30 or so technicians, ensuring that V8 and V12 units would be assembled in under 20 hours. With Ford giving engine production control to Aston, this paved the way for them to return to auto racing in 2005, in which the aforementioned V12 would be used within the DBR9. That infamous car went on to win the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMGT1 Class.
Through 2007 when Ford decided to dismantle their Premier Automotive Group, they continued collaborating with Aston Martin to create some of the most iconic models in their heritage, which became more acquirable to customers than ever before. These included the DB7, DB7 Vantage, DB9, DBS Coupé, and most famously, the V12 Vanquish which rose to fame after being featured in the James Bond movie, "Die Another Day". Fun fact: Did you know Aston Martin’s renowned 6.0L V12 engine is actually two 3.0L Ford V6 engines placed end to end with a few upgraded components to handle the higher horsepower and torque output? You could say Ford and Aston Martin were quite literally joined at the hip.