Aston Martin Cuts Deal with Mercedes
It’s been rumored for over a month, but Forbes magazine and Thompson Financial are now reporting that Mercedes-Benz will be cooperating with Aston-Martin. The report, which is not attributed to source, originated in the German magazine Der Spiegel.
According to the report, the cooperation will center on engines and may ultimately extend to platform development and sharing. Currently, Aston-Martin sources engines from its old owner, Ford. That contract, however, may be affected by the sale of Jaguar and Land Rover, for whom Ford is also the engine supplier, to Indian conglomerate Tata.
It is also believed that Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, may be interested in a minority equity stake in Aston-Martin, though it is also said that the current Aston owners do not wish to sell the entire company.
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The link-up with Mercedes and Daimler is not particularly surprising, now that both companies have substantial Arab ownership. Though it is not widely known, almost one-tenth of the stock in Daimler, A.G. is owned by Kuwait (7%) and the United Arab Emirates (2%). Combined, the states are the largest shareholder in the company. The purchase of Aston-Martin from Ford was financed by two of the largest investment companies in Kuwait.