Kuwait-backed Aston Martin seeks to double sales

Famous car maker, known for its role in James Bond movies, also draws up shortlist for new CEO

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Aston Martin, the luxury car maker part-owned by Kuwait’s Investment Dar, is seeking to double sales by 2016 with the release of new models and expansion of its dealer network.

The firm, whose vehicles famously feature in the James Bond series of movies, has also drawn up a shortlist of candidates as it aims to appoint a new CEO in the coming months. Current head honcho Ulrich Bez has been in place since 2000 and will likely retain a non-executive role on the British company’s board.

Those on the shortlist are said to include former Renault executive Carlos Tavares.

London-based Investindustrial acquired a 37.5 percent stake in the company last year and Aston Martin has since announced plans to invest around $785m over the next four years as it looks to better challenge rivals like Maserati and Ferrari.

Aston Martin hopes to boost sales to about 7,000 cars per year by 2016 from its current level of 3,400 and will seek to tap into demand in Asia and the Americas. It could also develop a sports utility vehicle as part of plans to attract wealthier customers.

Kuwait’s Investment Dar bought its stake in the automaker for £503m in 2007. The firm, which defaulted on a $100m Islamic bond in 2009, is planning to use its stake in Aston Martin as backing for a new credit facility and could sell the British luxury carmaker in four-to-seven years as part of ongoing restructuring of its debts.

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