Mercedes-Benz could take as much as a 20% stake in Aston Martin Lagonda as the two manufacturers expand ongoing ties.
In the process, the German automaker plans to increase the access its British partner gets to Mercedes technologies, such as electrified powertrains and digital infotainment systems.
“We already have a successful technology partnership in place with Aston Martin that has benefited both companies,” Mercedes’ product strategy chief, Wolf-Dieter Kurz, said in a statement. “With this new expanded partnership we will be able to provide Aston Martin with access to new cutting-edge technologies and components.”
The two companies first launched their strategic cooperation in 2013 and, today, products like the Aston Martin DB11 make use of V-8 engines developed by Mercedes’ high-performance AMG division. The British automaker also uses the Mercedes COMAND infotainment system and other electrical components.
Currently, Mercedes holds a 2.6% stake in its partner, but that will increase in a series of steps during the next three years to a maximum of 20%, or a value of 286 million British pounds.
The staged increases will come as Aston gains access to technologies including what the two companies described in a release as “next-generation hybrid and electric powertrains, as well as other vehicle components and systems.”
After a slow start, Mercedes has come to embrace electrification. It currently offers a broad array of hybrid and plug-in hybrid models and is rolling out a series of battery-electric vehicles, including the new EQB and EQC crossovers.
For its part, Aston recently launched a limited run of all-electric Vantage sedans. Under former CEO Andy Palmer, who left following a boardroom coup earlier this year, the marque was exploring other opportunities, including a PHEV or all-electric version of the new DBX, the crossover that is expected to become Aston’s best-selling product line.
Aston has been struggling under a severe cash shortage. It was rescued in March through a $663 million bailout by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, but that also resulted in the ouster of the 56-year-old Palmer.
He has since been replaced as CEO by Tobias Moers who previously served as head of the AMG brand.
“I am very excited to have joined the business to lead this transformation. I am incredibly impressed by the great work that has been delivered by the whole team here at Aston Martin,” Moers said in a second release on Tuesday.
Aston has been struggling financial this year, despite the rollout of the DBX. But Stroll, who now serves as the company’s executive chairman, hailed the expanded relationship with Mercedes, declaring that, “This is a transformational moment for Aston Martin. It is the result of six months of enormous effort to position the company for success to capture the huge and exciting opportunity ahead of us.”
Company officials said the deal “removes the risk” of having to develop electrified powertrain technologies, allowing Aston to focus on other elements of future vehicle development.