Aston Martin postpones electrification plans
The financially stricken sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has begun postponing their plans for electric cars. Although the British company has a new investor, it will first invest the existing budget in combustion engine models and the new SUV DBX.
As Aston Martin announced in the context of a 182-million pound investment by a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, the launch of the Lagonda electric car subsidiary will be postponed from 2022 to 2025 at the earliest. The manufacturer is also now confirming the rumour that it will not produce its first fully electric model Rapide E for the time being and has put the project on hold.
At the same time, Stroll will also become chairman of Aston Martin’s supervisory board, but CEO Andy Palmer is to remain. Despite the cash injection, jobs will be cut and costs reduced. In the course of this move, the car manufacturer also confirmed that it intends to launch its Hypercar” Valkyrie with V12 combustion engine this year. Also, as part of the revised strategy, further sports cars with mid-engine will be launched. “Mid-engined cars are a central component of Aston Martin Lagonda’s future,” the company writes in the accompanying press release.
The development of a V6 engine “with hybrid capabilities” will continue, however, and series production is targeted for the mid-2020s. So under Stroll, Aston Martin continues to rely on petrol and only a little on electricity.
Through the consortium, Stroll now holds a 16.7 per cent stake in Aston Martin. The Canadian is also the owner of the Racing Point Formula 1 racing team, where his son drives. As part of the deal, Racing Point will also compete as the official Aston Martin team from 2021. The sponsorship of the Red Bull F1 team should also continue. The exact sums are not mentioned in the stock exchange announcement but should be in the double-digit million range.
The Chinese car manufacturer Geely had also submitted a bid for Aston Martin. Geely is a major shareholder in Daimler, owner of Volvo and joint venture partner of Daimler in the Smart brand. Volvo has set itself ambitious electrification targets, Smart is now even wholly electric. If the Chinese investors had prevailed, the electrification plans at Aston Martin would probably not have been postponed.
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