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James Bond's car shifts into new gear

Friday, Dec 07, 2012 - 01:33

The 99-year-old British luxury carmaker Aston Martin plans to invest $1 billion in new products and technology after an Italian private equity fund agreed to buy a minority stake. The pledge was made as new data emerged showing UK manufacturing slowing. Matt Cowan reports.

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British luxury carmaker Aston Martin is pledging to invest $1 billion in new products and technology after an Italian private equity fund agreed to buy a minority stake in the company. Investindustrial is buying 37.5 percent for $241 million. The Italian group beat Indian tractor maker Mahindra and Mahindra in a two-way battle to invest in the company, whose sports cars were made famous by their appearance in James Bond spy films The deal comes days after ratings agency Moody's put Aston Martin's B3 rating under review following a 16 percent fall in the car makers revenue. Britain's Office for National Statistics has just released data showing UK manufacturing output fell in October at the fastest pace since June, reinforcing fears the economy may shrink again in the final three months of the year having just exited recession. Speaking at a UK car plants manufacturer, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the troubling trend. SOUNDBITE: David Cameron, UK Prime Minister saying (English): "Frankly in Britain, we need to be making more things. We need to be manufacturing more things. We need to be exporting more things, and that is exactly what you're doing." He called on British companies to give more guidance to UK colleges on what skills they're looking for in future employees. SOUNDBITE: David Cameron, UK Prime Minister saying (English): "Frankly we need a more Germanic approach. I think we'll crack it, but it will take time." Britain has suffered two recessions in the past four years, exiting the last one between July and September. On Wednesday finance minister George Osborne warned of far slower economic growth ahead than previously thought, and official forecasts pointed to another contraction at the end of 2012.

James Bond's car shifts into new gear

Friday, Dec 07, 2012 - 01:33

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