Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche says current five per cent shareholding allows Aston to remain independent but also benefit from outside technology
Mark Tisshaw
2 October 2014

Mercedes-Benz has no plans to increase its stake in Aston Martin at present, according to Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche.

The two car companies forged a technical partnership last summer that resulted in Daimler owning five per cent of non-voting shares in Aston Martin.

Speaking at the Paris motor show, Zetsche said the current five per cent stake Mercedes has in Aston is ideal because it “would not be in Aston’s interests to be incorporated into a big corporate organisation, as it would include risk”.

He added: “Aston is only 4000 units a year so there is also a danger we would be distracted from our core business. The deal is a perfect fit for both brands as it allows Aston to remain independent but also benefit from outside technology.

“There are no plans to increase our stake or take over.”

Zetsche also welcomed the arrival of Andy Palmer from Nissan to head Aston. “I regret Andy Palmer leaving Nissan as he was very positive to work with for us, but as he’s left I welcome him to Aston and look forward to future co-operation.”

Zetsche also revealed that the imminent return of the Maybach was likely to see the badge used in a similar way to Mercedes-AMG, meaning super-luxury versions of the S-class could become Mercedes-Maybach models.

He also ruled out a Mini or Fiat 500-style expansion of the Smart brand, saying Smart’s expansion was more likely to come from getting involved in more urban mobility and car sharing schemes.

“I don’t see a range like Mini for Smart,” he said. “Smart is not an SUV brand.”

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2 October 2014
Zetsche appears to have acquired a genuine high-end brand for a tiny fraction of what the Maybach debacle lost. Daimler's holding is just enough to ward off other suitors; no need to increase it as Aston's dependency on Mercedes will soon be too extensive for any rival to easily unwind. Plus there wasn't exactly a stampede to buy Aston in the first place.

3 October 2014
Norma Smellons wrote:

Zetsche appears to have acquired a genuine high-end brand for a tiny fraction of what the Maybach debacle lost. Daimler's holding is just enough to ward off other suitors; no need to increase it as Aston's dependency on Mercedes will soon be too extensive for any rival to easily unwind. Plus there wasn't exactly a stampede to buy Aston in the first place.

Lets be honest here...........the present Mercedes stake in Aston is only in exchange for engine supply, Mercedes did not pay a dime. And neither will they because the germans know that any more money into Aston is as good as a write off!!...................In the last few years the global luxury car market has doubled, but despite the influx of 'new' models Aston's sales have not show any real improvement..............And 500 million for the next 5 years is not going to take Aston very far!! The biggest worry is none of Aston's new owners are really in it for the long term.

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