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Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British manufacturer of luxury performance cars, whose headquarters are at Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. The company name is derived from the Aston Clinton hill climb and one of the company's founders, Lionel Martin.
From 1994 until 2007 Aston Martin was part of the Premier Automotive Group, a division of the Ford Motor Company. On 12 March 2007, it was purchased for £479 million (US$848 million) by two Kuwaiti investment companies in a deal led by David Richards of Prodrive. Ford retained a US$77 million stake in Aston Martin, setting the total value of the company at US$925 million.
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 Place in Kensington and produced their first car in March 1915. Production could not start because of the outbreak of World War I, and Martin joined the Admiralty and Bamford the Royal Army Service Corps. All machinery was sold to the Sopwith Aviation Company.