Breaking with tradition, Aston Martin launched its first four-door sports car, the Rapide, in 2010 and a 1.3 litre luxury city car, the Cygnet, earlier this year. It also expanded its distribution network to 135 showrooms, with recent openings in India and South America, and further dealerships planned for China. Founded in 1913, the Warwickshire company was owned by Ford from 1994 until 2007, when chairman David Richards led a £509m buyout funded by Middle East backers Investment Dar and Adeem Investments. Under chief executive Dr Ulrich Bez sales grew 36% to £474.3m in 2010.
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