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I always enjoy your write-ups. They are both entertaining and insightful. Thanks.

As I have mentioned in other places, Felisa seems to be a placeholder. A placeholder for what I don’t know, but I don’t see him doing anything substantive given his career stage.

Stroll…well what can be said. He seems frustrated, has been for a while. Aston is a money losing hobby, overall. He just needs to minimize his personal loses as he plays with his toys. He’ll get bored eventually with bleeding money. They all do.

His repetitive “ Ultra-Luxury” talk is wearisome. What he really wants to say is, “ I need to greatly raise my ASP, and get a margin more like Ferrari…so it’s all about the brand, brand, brand.” However, it’s going to take more than just lip service and well…that’s the problem. He doesn’t seem to have a sustainable plan for that…yet. I guess Moers was plan A…didn’t work…now onto plan B.

I agree with your Limited Edition comments. Aston reminds me of the Gibson Guitar company. Both seemed victims of there own historical success. Trapped in the 50’s and 60’s where every innovation/ change is met with a temper tantrum by fanboys who reminisce about the glory days and every change is one step further away from perfection, even if that perfection wasn’t appreciated whole heartedly at the time.

I’m still rooting for Aston to thrive, if only for me to more easily get parts for my current car. I think owning the stock is a sucker’s bet…but maybe I just don’t have vision.
 

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And a couple other points:

I do wonder about Stroll’s strenuous assertions of being fully “sold out”. I’m not willing to burn many brain cells trying to decipher this because I don’t have a horse in this race. But “ sold out” and “ made to order” appear to be sold into the wholesale channel, not necessarily retail. So with retail sales running ahead of wholesale this could be 51% retail and 49% wholesale which could still leave a lot of product on dealer lots. Stroll’s glib talk seems more about creating an illusion of high end customer demand more than dealers needing something on their showroom floor.

Finally, as mentioned, the AMR versus AML connection is opaque. If I were an AML shareholder or creditor, I’d be pretty focused on watching what is going on with that connection. Certainly seems like there is some room for abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And a couple other points:

I do wonder about Stroll’s strenuous assertions of being fully “sold out”. I’m not willing to burn many brain cells trying to decipher this because I don’t have a horse in this race. But “ sold out” and “ made to order” appear to be sold into the wholesale channel, not necessarily retail. So with retail sales running ahead of wholesale this could be 51% retail and 49% wholesale which could still leave a lot of product on dealer lots. Stroll’s glib talk seems more about creating an illusion of high end customer demand more than dealers needing something on their showroom floor.

Finally, as mentioned, the AMR versus AML connection is opaque. If I were an AML shareholder or creditor, I’d be pretty focused on watching what is going on with that connection. Certainly seems like there is some room for abuse.
The AML - AMR relationship is definitely one to watch. Listening to Stroll you would think its all one company and its anything but.
 

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I haven’t dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s but on the back of an envelope it looks like Stroll led and investment of around $250US in AML ( unknown how much was his personal stake vs others in consortium) to get a $20 million/ per year( 10 year annuity) into his own company, AMR. ( $200MM back) Then he used the Aston name to pull in other deep pocketed sponsors into AMR like Aramco.

Best case sounds like he found a way to defray the cost of his hobby…and got control of a car company for ( almost) free.

Just my cynicall first take.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I haven’t dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s but on the back of an envelope it looks like Stroll led and investment of around $250US in AML ( unknown how much was his personal stake vs others in consortium) to get a $20 million/ per year( 10 year annuity) into his own company, AMR. ( $200MM back) Then he used the Aston name to pull in other deep pocketed sponsors into AMR like Aramco.

Best case sounds like he found a way to defray the cost of his hobby…and got control of a car company for ( almost) free.

Just my cynicall first take.
I think you have it pretty nailed. For Stroll the challenge is to bring enough extra funding into AMR to offset any losses he ends up with at AML.

On the same subject, this is quite insightful: CHRIS HARRIS' COLUMN - WEEK 1 · Collecting Cars
 
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