REPORTER: British luxury carmaker Aston Martin is pledging to invest $1 billion in new products and technology after an Italian private equity fund agreed to buy a minority stake in the company. Investindustrial is buying 37.5 percent for $241 million. The Italian group beat Indian tractor maker Mahindra and Mahindra in a two-way battle to invest in the company, whose sports cars were made famous by their appearance in James Bond spy films. The deal comes just days after ratings agency Moody's put Aston Martin's B3 rating under review following a 16 percent fall in the carmaker's revenue. And Britain's Office for National Statistics has just released data showing UK manufacturing output fell in October at the fastest pace since June, reinforcing fears that the economy may shrink again in the final three months of the year having just exited recession. Speaking at a UK car parts manufacturer, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the troubling trend.
DAVID CAMERON, UK PRIME MINISTER: "Frankly in Britain, we need to be making more things. We need to be manufacturing more things. We need to be exporting more things."
REPORTER: He called on British companies to give more guidance to UK colleges on what skills they're looking for in future employees.
DAVID CAMERON: "We need frankly to have a more Germanic approach to that skills deficit, and I think we'll crack it, but it will take time."
REPORTER: Britain has suffered two recessions in the past four years, exiting the last one between July and September. On Wednesday finance minister George Osborne warned of far slower economic growth ahead than previously thought, and official forecasts pointed to another contraction at the end of 2012.
Note the play on words in the title of the report. If someone or something shifts into a new gear, they start to do soemthing better. And, of course, you shift gear when you drive a car.