Written by By Max Berlinger, CNN
Tata cars and the recent Jaguar and Land Rover-owned Land Rover brand have emerged as two of the biggest hitters in the UK's automotive landscape in recent years. That big footprint is about to expand further as GM pulls the plug on the British brand's iconic car brand, Aston Martin.
Though the car manufacturer retains a 51% stake in the luxury automaker and previously promised to focus its efforts on developing the lucrative British-built DB11 sports car and electric vehicle, the company has discontinued plans to build new Aston Martins.
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The South Indian automaker, Tata, bought its stake in the 68-year-old luxury brand in 2007 from Ford for $845 million, a significant sum for the time. Back then, Aston Martin had laid off 700 employees and the company had been in an annual loss of more than $275 million.
By 2018, the division had sold more than 90,000 cars. Tata has poured investment into Aston Martin and now appears to be reaping the rewards.
"Without Tata, this would never have happened," CEO Andy Palmer told CNN Business at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
GM has retained a significant stake in the UK luxury automaker. Credit: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
The billionaire industrialist, Ratan Tata, became one of the world's wealthiest people in 2015 when he turned over control of the Tata Group to his son, Ratan Tata Jr. "It was my father's decision that we would keep Aston Martin and consequently we had a vision to build it to a global, as well as a regional, brand," Jaguar's President and CEO Ralf Speth told the BBC.
But the decision is not without detractors. In a statement posted on the firm's website, Palmer wrote, "As we take the next steps to evolve the brand and build Aston Martin into a premier luxury marque, we recognize Aston Martin is at a critical inflection point. I have decided that Aston Martin, which has such a proud heritage and incredibly passionate fan base, deserves an operator more focused on building on that heritage and supporting the transformation of Aston Martin to a global brand."