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Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc is a British independent manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. It was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. Steered from 1947 by David Brown, it became associated with expensive grand touring cars in the 1950s and 1960s, and with the fictional character James Bond following his use of a DB5 model in the 1964 film Goldfinger.
Lionel Martin and
, England, United Kingdom
Aston Martin was founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The two had joined forces as Bamford & Martin the previous year to sell cars made by Singer from premises in Callow Street, London where they also serviced GWK and Calthorpe vehicles. Martin raced specials at Aston Hill near Aston Clinton, and the pair decided to make their own vehicles. The first car to be named Aston Martin was created by Martin by fitting a four-cylinder Coventry-Simplex engine to the chassis of a 1908 Isotta Fraschini.
They acquired premises at Henniker Mews in Kensington and produced their first car in March 1915. Production could not start because of the outbreak of the first World War, and Martin joined the Admiralty and Bamford joined the Army Service Corps.
Aston Martin had a troubled history after the third quarter of the 20th century but has also enjoyed long periods of success and stability. “In the first century we went bankrupt seven times”, incoming CEO Andy Palmer told Automotive News Europe. “The second century is about making sure that is not the case.”
Headquarters and main production site are in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England, alongside one of Jaguar Land Rover’s development centres on the site of a former RAF V Bomber airbase. One of Aston Martin’s recent cars was named after the 1950s Avro Vulcan bomber. Aston Martin has announced plans to turn itself into a global luxury brand, and is increasingly branching out into projects including speed boats, bicycles, clothing and real estate development, even submarines and aircraft, mostly on a licensing basis.
It has over 150 car dealerships in over 50 countries on six continents, making them a global automobile brand. The company is traded at the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.