Geely, the Chinese automaker and owner of Volvo/Polestar and Lotus, has increased its stake in Aston Martin. Geely previously owned 7.6% of the luxury automaker, however that stake has risen to 17%. This means Geely is now the third largest stakeholder in Aston Matin, behind only Lawrence Stroll and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.
The move should see Geely increase not just its stake, but also its involvement in Aston Martin. Geely CEO Eric Li mentioned “exploring joint technology synergies and new growth opportunities” as key highlights of the partnership. Clearly, beyond an initial financial boost, an increased share of the Chinese luxury market and stronger positioning for electrification are the two main positives Geely can bring to the table.
Aston Martin has had a turbulent few years, with the firm reporting operating losses of $95 million and $146 million in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Meanwhile the automaker’s attempts to rectify falling sales through the DBX SUV have only been somewhat successful.
Although the DBX is now Aston’s best-selling model with 3,219 units sold last year, the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga continue to dominate the “Super SUV” segment by some distance. Meanwhile, AM recently shelved plans for a mid-engined Vanquish with no explanation given. Plus, the Valhalla PHEV hypercar still isn’t here (despite a promised 2021 launch date).
So, maybe Geely can help Aston get its act in order. While before it my not have had the motivation to get too involved, Geely’s new lager stake in Aston should result in the firm sharing more of its vast resources and expertise. After all, Geely CEO Eric Li is clearly very fond of Aston Martin – he tried to buy the brand outright back in September 2022
Although plans have been kept mostly under wraps, we do know Aston Martin is very serious about electrification. The firm’s first EV is due in just two years, meanwhile the automaker has promised all of its models will be available with an electric powertrain by 2026.
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