Aston Martin boss Dr Ulrich Bez has refuted suggestions the iconic British marque is for sale.

Speculation had mounted that the firm was being courted by mass market car makers looking for a way into the potentially lucrative sports car market, and with an eye to developing the luxury brand in new, potentially profitable areas by developing an SUV through its Lagonda offshoot.

However, speaking at the launch of the new Aston Martin Vanquish, Bez said: "I can categorically say that we are not for sale. In the future - 2015, 2016, whenever - it is impossible to predict, but today it will not happen.

"Every day I am approached by someone making contact for someone else who they say is interested in the brand, but we are not working towards it. We are launching our best-ever car in the Vanquish, we have a more diverse, profitable product line than ever before and we have thrived during our six years of independence.

"We are a good news story and, for sure, people want to be part of that - but that also means we are looking to the future as we are and with confidence."