Daimler AG (DAI), the world’s third biggest maker of luxury vehicles, will supply U.K. sports-car producer Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. with electric and electronic parts to deepen an alliance that started last year.
Daimler, the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz premium autos, will receive another 1 percent stake in Aston Martin, lifting its holding to a total 5 percent, Hendrik Sackmann, a spokesman for the Stuttgart, Germany-based company, said in an e-mail.
Aston Martin, the maker of sports cars featured in James Bond films, is one of the few ultra-luxury auto producers that doesn’t belong to a larger manufacturing group. That independence has hampered the 101-year-old company’s resources to fund technology to make its models competitive with cars from Fiat SpA (F)’s Maserati or Volkswagen AG’s Bentley nameplates.
The component deal signed on July 31 is part of a larger agreement that also involves Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance unit to adapt V8 engines to install in future Aston Martin vehicles. Daimler and Gaydon, England-based Aston Martin are also in talks on using Mercedes technology to develop a sports-utility vehicle that Aston Martin would start selling by 2017, people familiar with the matter said earlier this year.
Aston Martin sold about 4,200 vehicles last year. That compares to 1.46 million 2013 deliveries by Mercedes. The German company ranks third in sales of luxury cars worldwide, behind the namesake brand of Munich-based Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and the Audi division of Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen.
The closely held U.K. company is in the midst of the biggest investment program in its history after London-based investment firm Investindustrial bought a 37.5 percent stake in December 2012. Aston Martin’s shareholders also include Kuwaiti companies Investment Dar Co. and Adeem Investment Co., which bought the U.K. carmaker in 2007 from Ford Motor Co., the manufacturer’s owner for 20 years.
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