Chinese automaker buys Aston Martin shares

BEIJING, China (China Daily) — Chinese automakers are expanding their global presence by making acquisitions and scaling up exports, which is all driven by their increasing competitive edge, especially in terms of electric vehicles.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, China’s largest private carmaker, said on Friday that it has acquired a 7.6 percent stake in loss-making British luxury carmaker Aston Martin.

Geely, which owns Swedish brand Volvo and has stakes in German auto giant Daimler and British sports car brand Lotus, said its “well-established track record and technology offerings” can contribute to Aston Martin’s future success.

“We look forward to exploring potential opportunities to engage and collaborate with Aston Martin as it continues to execute its strategy to achieve a long-term, sustainable growth and increased profitability,” Geely CEO Li Donghui, said.

ASTON Martin Valkyrie is one of the best, if not the best masterpiece that has ever rolled out from the stables of the British luxury car company.

Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of Aston Martin, said he would like to welcome Geely Holding as a new shareholder. Stroll’s investment fund remains the British carmaker’s largest shareholder.

There are several high-performance electronic technologies that Geely can share with Aston Martin, including those from the Chinese carmaker’s Polestar and Lotus brands, experts said.

Polestar is an electric car startup, and Lotus is developing electric sports cars and SUVs. The SUVs are made in a plant in Central China’s Hubei province, and will primarily be sold in China.

Aston Martin is choosing its partner for its first electric model, which is scheduled to be launched in 2025, and from 2026, all the automaker’s new vehicles will have an electric option.

The century-old British marque brand reported an operating loss of $104 million for 2021. Its sales stood at around 6,200 vehicles that year, with China being one of its biggest markets.

Going global is now high on Chinese carmakers’ business strategies as they try to seize opportunities arising from their early-mover advantages in the new energy vehicle sector.

In late September, Warren Buffett-backed BYD launched three EV models — the Atto 3, the Tang and the Han — for European customers, which will hit the market at the Paris auto show this month.

V12 Vanquish rose to fame after being featured as the official James Bond car in Die Another Day, the twentieth James Bond film.

The presale price for the Atto 3 is 38,000 euros ($37,236) in Germany. The Han and the Tang have a presale price of 72,000 euros in the same country, rivaling models from local premium brands.

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, said China is seeing a surge in exports of high-end electric cars.

Statistics from the association show that the average price of exported electric vehicles was $11,000 in 2020, rising to $25,800 by August.

SAIC Motor, China’s largest carmaker, shipped 10,000 of its MG4 hatchbacks to Europe in September, marking the country’s largest shipment of electric cars overseas.

In the fourth quarter, the MG4 is expected to be sold in around 20 European nations. By 2023, it will be available in some 80 countries worldwide.

The MG4 EV is the first model that SAIC built using its dedicated electric platform. It was the result of work by SAIC’s Chinese and British teams, and was developed based on new car quality standards in a number of different countries.

In the first eight months of this year, China’s vehicle exports reached 1.82 million, up 52.8 percent year-on-year. Among them, 341,000 were electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

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