China’s Geely Automobile Holding – 49.9% stakeholder in Proton – is in talks with Aston Martin’s management and investors about taking a stake in the luxury sportscar maker, according to reports by Reuters and Financial Times.
The reports suggests that the Geely is currently conducting due diligence prior to a potential formal offer – although it is currently unclear if it will be a technical partnership, financial stake in the British firm, or both.
According to Reuters’ source, Geely sees potential savings on technological development and vehicle platforms with the integration between Aston Martin and its Lotus brand – in which Geely owns a 51% controlling stake.
Geely’s Chairman, Li Shufu, owns a 9.69% stake in Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, which also has a 5% stake in Aston Martin, and supplies Mercedes-AMG engines for the British luxury carmaker.
Aston Martin recently issued an unexpected profit warning due to “challenging trading conditions”. Aston Martin chief executive officer said that the brand suffered “a very disappointing year” in 2019, with 5819 cars sold – 7% down from 2018.
The 107-year old British carmaker is hoping that the newly launched DBX SUV will help turn its fortunes around. The Aston Martin DBX is the brand’s first SUV, and it was reported that the design and engineering behind the SUV has been incredibly expensive for the company.
Promising to be “sports car first,SUV second”, the DBX comes with a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine under the hood, putting out 550 hp and a whole 700 Nm of torque. Zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds, onward to a top speed of 290 km/h.
However, Geely is not the sole party interested with investing in Aston Martin. Recent reports suggest that billionaire and Racing Point Force India Formula 1 Team Owner Lawrence Stroll, is finalising a bid for the troubled British carmaker to the tune of around 200 million Pound Sterling.
The investment could see Stroll acquire a 19.9% stake in Aston Martin.