Aston Martin has struck a deal with the US firm Lucid to start making “ultra-luxury high-performance electric vehicles” from 2025.
The British luxury carmaker, whose losses more than doubled last year to almost £500m, has struck a cash and shares deal valued at £182m in which Lucid will take a 3.7% stake in London-listed Aston Martin.
The carmaker, which sold 6,400 luxury vehicles last year and has spent heavily on new models, said it would select powertrain components from Lucid for initial and certain future battery electric vehicle (BEV) models.
The company said the deal, which involves a minimum spend of £177m with Lucid, would help drive its plan to launch its first BEV in 2025.
“Combined with our internal development, this [deal with Lucid] will allow us to create a single bespoke BEV platform suitable for all future Aston Martin products, all the way from hypercars to sports cars and SUVs,” said Roberto Fedeli, Aston Martin’s chief technology officer.
Mercedes-Benz holds a 9.4% stake in Aston Martin as part of a long-term strategic deal that includes technology sharing and representation on the British carmaker’s board.
Industry analysts have for several years queried how smaller carmakers such as Aston Martin would cope with the expensive move to electric-powered vehicles and increasing demands for digital technology without being owned by a larger car group, as is the case with VW-owned Bentley or BMW-owned Rolls-Royce.
“The proposed agreement with Lucid is a gamechanger for the future EV-led growth of Aston Martin,” said Lawrence Stroll, the executive chair of Aston Martin, the fashion billionaire who took over the troubled company in 2020. “Along with Mercedes-Benz, we now have two world-class suppliers to support the internal development and investments we are making to deliver our electrification strategy.”
Last month, Geely, one of China’s largest independent carmakers, doubled its stake in Aston Martin to 17%.
In February, Nissan announced it was to take a stake of up to 15% in Renault’s flagship electric vehicle unit as part of a new long-term deal designed to repair relations in the troubled 24-year alliance between the two global automotive makers.