Reports are circulating that British-based sports car maker Aston Martin is seeking to contract out production of its first new model since the V8 Vantage to an engineering specialist in mainland Europe. An article in Financial Times this morning suggested that the firm’s Gaydon-based management board has submitted requests to Italian, German, Austrian and Finnish companies for bids to build the forthcoming Rapide saloon.The report identifies Pininfarina, Karmann, Magna and Valmet as the four companies that have been asked for tenders for assembly of the new V12-engined four-door. Among those four companies' current contracted offerings are the Chrysler Crossfire and 300C, the Porsche Boxster, the Ford Focus CC, the Alfa Romeo Spider, the Mitsubishi Colt CZC, and the Saab 9-3 Convertible. If it’s true, the Rapide will become the first Aston Martin ever to be built outside of the British Isles, an issue which could become a sticking point for Aston aficionados who value the brand’s perceived Britishness.Aston Martin itself had no comment on the story for Autocar as this story was written, neither did representatives of Pininfarina or Karmann. More information is expected later today.