Aston Martin ended 2019 with declining sales and profits and now faces an ambitious product expansion ahead. The steep challenge is reflected in the automaker's share price which sunk below 4 British pounds (approximately $5.20) for the first time last week, a far cry from the 19 British pounds when shares were first listed in 2018.
Aston Martin's solution is to seek outside help. The automaker confirmed last month it is in talks with potential investors, one of them thought to be a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, the billionaire backer of the Racing Point Formula One team. Another could be China's Geely.
The Financial Times (subscription required), citing people familiar with the matter, reported Friday that Geely is looking to buy a stake in Aston Martin and is already conducting due diligence. We'll remind you that Geely has plenty of experience investing in and turning around established car brands, with the likes of Volvo, Smart, Proton, Polestar and Lotus all under its control. Geely also owns 10 percent of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.
There are potential synergies to be realized by Geely should it be successful in gaining a controlling stake in Aston Martin. Most obvious is joint development of sports cars between the Aston Martin and Lotus brands. Both brands are also looking to launch high-performance SUVs, which Aston Martin will do so shortly with the DBX going on sale later this year.
Aston Martin and Geely are also both investing heavily in electric cars. However, it isn't clear if the reported talks between the two have anything to do with rumors last week that Aston Martin's first EV, the Rapide E, has been canceled.
What also isn't clear is whether any deal with Geely would preclude Stroll from investing in Aston Martin. Should Stroll be successful in his bid, we could potentially see Racing Point become the factory team of Aston Martin. Stay tuned.