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Wheels World news: Mazda hooks up with Toyota, Aston seeks suitor, F1 driver immortalised on own T-shirt

By Glenn Butler, 12 Nov 2012 News

Lotus Team get new T-shirts, Mazda in bed with Toyota, Aston seeks cashed-up company with view to marriage

Aston Martin for sale for $800million, Toyota to share next Mazda2, Raikkonen immortalises own phrase on T-shirt

Aston Martin for sale for $800million

Aston Martin's major shareholder, Kuwaiti company Investment Dar Co., is looking to offload its 64 percent stake in the British supercar builder. According to Bloomberg.com, Toyota and Mahindra are potential suitors to take over the only independently held supercar maker.

Investment Dar paid Ford US $805million for the stake in 2007, and is hoping to sell for the same amount. But suitors are reluctant to meet the asking price, even though Aston is profitable and its sales are stable at around 4200 cars annually. Investment Dar is under pressure to sell to reorganise $4.9 billion of debt, so the longer those interested parties wait, the cheaper Aston could become.

Toyota to share next Mazda2
The next generation Mazda2 will also be a Toyota... for North America at least. Mazda has confirmed the next Mazda2, due in 2014, will be shared with Toyota. Both versions will be built in Mexico at a rate of 50,000 per year. That's good news for Mazda, which was looking to reduce development costs for future models after Ford sold most of its stake in the struggling Japanese carmaker in 2010. Mazda has also announced plans to share the next MX-5 Roadster with Alfa Romeo.

Raikkonen immortalises own phrase on T-shirt
Kimi Raikkonen has sent all 500 members of the Lotus F1 team a black T-shirt with his now famour radio message: "Leave me alone I know what I am doing" emblazoned on the front. Raikkonen made the remark in reponse to repeated driving instructions from his pit crew. Raikkonen has since conceded that maybe the victory -- the first for Lotus since 2008, and his first since 2009 -- meant more to the team than it did to the double world champion.