Geely has taken a share of almost 8% in British performance car brand Aston Martin after a series of bids to acquire a stake in the OEM.
The Chinese carmaker, which already owns Volvo Cars and the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) alongside major shares in Lotus Cars, Polestar and Smart, took a 7.6% share in Aston’s recent £654mn rights issue.
It comes after the OEM accepted £78 million from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund for a 16.7% stake but rejected a proposal from the Atlas Consortium – consisting of Geely and InvestIndustrial – to invest £1.3bn.
Geely’s newly-secured stake in Aston Martin is the culmination of years of interest in the brand by Li Shufu, the founder and chair of Geely Holding, according to the Financial Times.
It has previously made several bids and went head-to-head with current by Aston Martin chairman and F1 team boss Lawrence Stroll when it tabled a rival bailout offer in 2019.
A statement issued by Stroll today (September 30) welcomed Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as an “anchor shareholder”, adding that he would “like to welcome Geely Holding, who have today announced that they have become a shareholder”.
In a statement issued by Geely Holding, its chief executive Daniel Donghui Li said: “We are delighted to announce our investment in Aston Martin and believe that with our well-established track record and technology offerings, Geely Holding can contribute to Aston Martin’s future success.
“We look forward to exploring potential opportunities to engage and collaborate with Aston Martin as it continues to execute its strategy to achieve long term, sustainable growth and increased profitability.”
Aston Martin is now being led by a new management team led by new chief executive Amedeo Felisa and is focused on a series of new model launches from 2023.
In May, its Q1 financial results revealed a loss before tax of £111.6m as it declined 116% further into the red from Q1 2021’s £42.2m pre-tax loss.
Revenues increased 4% to £232.7m as total wholesale volumes declined 14% to 1,168, however, signalling a focus on more expensive product lines, including the Valkyrie.
Geely’s shareholding in Aston Martin mirrors an unsolicited stakebuilding that saw it take almost 10% of the German carmaker Mercedes-Benz. It also took control of the Smart brand – recently profiled by AM – through a joint venture with the German premium carmaker.
The FT Reported that Aston Martin expects to decide on its partner for its first electric vehicle (EV) later this year.
Talks are underway with Mercedes, US-based Lucid and Britishvolt over plans for the EV, which is due in 2025, it said.
Geely may has designs on a partnership, however, that could draw on EV knowhow already demonstrated with Volvo, Polestar and technologies being developed for future Lotus models.