There are two questions that come in rapid succession when learning that Aston Marin has sold the Vanquish tooling and design drawings for $26 million. Who would buy such a thing as the Vanquish tooling and—more importantly—who’d pay $26 million for them? The selling off of licensing rights to a model isn’t something that happens every day – when it happens to something like the Aston Martin Vanquish, it tends to raise eyebrows.
Information on the transaction is largely shrouded in ambiguity and little of the details are known. Aston Martin had included the transaction in a 321-page document in preparation of their IPO in which was the first public release of the information. Most mysterious is why Aston Martin is so quick to dump the design plans off once it’s done using them. The Vanquish launched in 2012 as the Aston Martin flagship where it served well in that role. Earlier this year, it was replaced by the DBS Superleggera.
The documentation specified little else than a reference to the DBX crossover’s engine; a twin-turbo V-8 sourced directly from AMG. The unnamed buyer’s transaction is registered as of June 2018 and speculation points at a luxury-tuning company based in Europe as a potential buyer. According to Top Speed, “the buyer would be a European luxury tuning company; perhaps, an aftermarket specialist that also does coach-built projects and is looking to build its own cars, such as Ares Design or Mansory.”
Although not substantiating, it’s convincing to hear that the deal also comes with an 18-month support from Aston Martin Consulting, a company for others who are looking to add a touch of exclusivity to their portfolio. “The deal could be to assist the buyer on how to build a new Vanquish that doesn’t look like the Vanquish Aston Martin sold until this year,” Top Speed writer Sidd Dhimann reports.
Although selling the licensing to one’s design plans isn’t a new concept, it’s an odd move for the British luxury car maker and as big as their banks may be, $26 million dollars isn’t quite pocket-change. What the end result will ultimately be can be eagerly awaited, but there’s no guarantee it will be worth the wait for all but a select few in a very niche market.