Volvo and Polestar owner Geely announced it had raised its stake in the iconic British luxury automaker Aston Martin to 17% as part of a new relationship agreement.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd., or simply Geely to most, is China’s largest privately owned auto tech group with an emerging EV presence.
After buying out Volvo Cars in 2010 from Ford, Geely gained access to the established Swedish automaker’s technology and expert knowledge in safety, minimalist design, and engineering.
Geely also acquired Volvo’s racing partner, Polestar, in 2015 and British sports carmaker Lotus in 2017. By sharing technology and platforms, Geely has grown into a leading EV maker in China, with its hand in nearly every segment.
The Geely umbrella has continued to expand over the years by introducing new dedicated EV brands, including ZEEKR, its premium EV line, and Geometry, its mass-market electric car company.
With a larger stake in Aston Martin, can Geely do the same with the famed luxury British automaker?
Geely raises stake in Aston Martin ahead of first EV launch
Geely revealed it had increased its stake to 17% in Aston Martin, more than doubling its previously announced 7.6% ownership in September and becoming its third largest shareholder.
The decision to increase its ownership comes as Geely’s chairman and founder, Eric Li, expressed “confidence in the company’s growth prospects, its technologies, and its management team.”
Li added since acquiring its first stake in Aston Martin, the company has worked with executive chairman Lawrence Stroll and now looks forward to “exploring joint technology synergies and new growth opportunities.”
Geely can offer us a deep understanding of the key strategic growth market of China as well as the opportunity to access their range of technologies.
Interestingly, Aston Martin rejected Geely’s £1.3 billion ($1.61 billion) investment proposal last year that would have allowed the Chinese automaker to take control of the business.
Aston Martin has struggled to raise funds over the past several years as it burns through cash. The British sports carmaker later raised £575.8 million ($660 million ) from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.
Although Aston Martin has yet to release its first fully electric vehicle, the company plans to launch one by 2025.
Geely has the technology and partnerships to evolve the Aston Martin brand, reviving it in the new electric era.
Geely’s other brands are thriving. Volvo’s EV sales grew 157% in the first three months of 2023, with new models coming to drive momentum further, including the EX90 SUV and its smallest and cheapest SUV, the EX30, due out this summer.
Meanwhile, Polestar achieved another record first quarter, delivering 12,076 models, up 26% YOY, with its first electric SUV, the Polestar 3, due out next year.
ZEEKR built its 100,000th electric vehicle in April after only 18 months and believes it can be a top three premium EV maker by the end of the decade. Sales of Lotus’s first electric SUV, the Electre, began in 2022 after unveiling the $2 million all-electric Eviija hypercar in 2019.
For Aston Martin to turn things around, it will take a brand revamp. And what would be better than all-electric Aston Martins?
Not only do EVs offer more power and instant torque, but they are also loaded with the latest software and tech features to make the driver experience that much more enjoyable.
Author: Peter Johnson