Geely, the Chinese brand that owns Volvo and Lotus, has reportedly taken an interest in under-fire Aston Martin.
The British sports car brand is looking for investment after reporting a drop in sales in 2019 as well as extra expenditure on marketing which has seen its share price drop significantly since it floated in 2018. The Financial Times reports that Geely has begun talks and its due diligence to take a stake in Aston Martin. It's unclear how much Geely wants to invest in the brand, with a minority holding and technical partnership seemingly the most likely option.
Geely has been on a spending spree in recent years, buying Volvo from Ford in 2010, investing 10 per cent into Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and taking control of Lotus in 2017. It's worth noting that Mercedes-AMG already has a technical relationship with Aston Martin to provide engines and other powertrain components, so further Geely investment would only strengthen the connection between the brands.
Geely isn't the only interested party in Aston Martin, however, with Canadian billionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll also in talks to take a stake in the company. Stroll, father of F1 driver Lance, has built his career investing in brands at a low point and rebuilding their value. He did it successfully with fashion labels Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.
Stroll is also no stranger to fast cars, aside from his investing in his son's career he lead a consortium to take control of the Racing Point F1 team. He also has a huge collection of Ferraris and other supercars and even owns the Mont-Tremblant circuit in Canada.
According to the Financial Times report it's unclear if Geely will still want to invest in Aston Martin if Stroll's consortium takes its stake, rumoured to be 19.9 per cent. Regardless of who owns it Aston Martin is pushing ahead with its 'Second Century' plan in 2020 with the launch of its first SUV, the DBX, and its first mid-engine model, the Valkyrie hypercar.