Aston not looking to sell 'all or part of the company'
7 April 2008

Autocar has learned that Aston Martin management is not looking to sell ‘all or part of the company’, despite the reports from Germany suggesting that Mercedes wants a stake in the British car maker.Sources told Autocar that the new management team wasn’t about to make any further changes to the ownership of the company, although it has already held talks on technical collaboration with a number of global car makers. However, it was suggested that shares in Aston Martin could be offered on the open market in an IPO ‘within five years’.Rumours of a potential tie-up between the two premium marques originally emerged from Kuwait in February. Adham Charonoglu, of Aston’s Kuwaiti majority shareholder, DAR, suggested that Aston and Mercedes could collaborate on a range of ventures, from engine supply to entirely new models.Even if Mercedes management interest is rebuffed, a technical collaboration could help to secure Aston’s long-term future. A small company like Aston needs to buy in major components from a major automotive brand such as Mercedes to remain financially viable.With the next-generation Mercedes SL set to switch to a lightweight aluminium platform, it presents an obvious opportunity for Aston Martin to collaborate with Mercedes to develop new models - sharing platforms, expertise and technology.Mercedes’s current association with McLaren ends next year when the SLR goes out of production. This leaves the path clear for Merc to start a new association with a British supercar maker.

Hilton Holloway

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