Aston Martin is the latest foreign brand to enter Geely’s ever-growing sphere of influence.
Overnight the Chinese automaker announced it had purchased a 7.6 per cent stake in Aston Martin Lagonda.
Earlier reports suggested Geely was interested in buying into Aston Martin as it wants another technology and platform partner for Lotus.
Currently Lotus is busy putting the finishing touches on a dedicated EV premium car architecture that will underpin next year’s Eletre crossover, as well as other models, including a Porsche Taycan rival.
New platforms, even when attached to vehicles with hefty profit margins, are money-intensive beasts, and it’s possible Geely would like other manufacturers to make use the same architectures as Lotus to improve economies of scale.
The Eletre’s EV architecture is one three Lotus has in the works or production. The Evija hypercar lives on its platform, while the Hethel-based firm is also working on an EV sports car architecture with Alpine.
Coincidentally, Aston Martin is working through its electrification strategy after period of financial and managerial turmoil.
The most recent, publicly announced plan will see Aston Martin launch its first ever EV in 2025, and have a fully electrified lineup from 2026.
In mid-July Aston Martin rejected an investment offer from Geely, opting instead of seek more money from existing shareholders, while also accepting an injection of £78 million ($137 million) from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) in exchange for a 16.7 per cent stake in the firm.
Two months earlier, Aston Martin fired its CEO Tobias Moers, replacing him with the former chief of Ferrari, Amedeo Felisa.
This isn’t the first time Geely has bought a minority shareholding in another automaker in the hopes of a collaboration.
Back in 2018 Geely bought almost 10 per cent of Mercedes-Benz back to become the German automaker’s largest single shareholder.
After announcing a few small joint ventures, Geely announced it was purchasing a 50 per cent stake in Smart from Mercedes-Benz. The two firms would ten jointly develop a new generation of EVs for the small car brand to be built in China and exported around the world.
And just this year, Geely bought a controlling 34 per cent share of Renault Korea Motors — formerly known as Renault Samsung Motors — after the two automakers agreed a product- and platform-sharing deal in 2021, which would see Geely engineer and produce Renault cars in China, while Renault Samsung would use Geely architectures for its next generation of vehicles.
All of this action has come on top of Geely’s willingness to buy into foreign automakers. It currently has a controlling interest in Volvo, its EV spinoff Polestar, LEVC (producer of London’s iconic black taxi cabs), Lotus, and Proton.
This is on top of its own selection in-house brands, including Lynk & Co, Zeekr, Geometry, and others.