What’s better than one iconic car brand known for classic, cult-favorite design? Well, of course, two.
Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin have announced that they will seek to further enmesh the two companies, and Mercedes will take a larger stake in the favorite brand of James Bond.
Mercedes already owns a tiny chunk of Aston Martin — about 2.6% as it stands — but the automaker says it plans to increase that stake over the next three years, potentially to as much as 20%.
The two companies are calling it a “strategic agreement,” and that’s because it’s not just a grab for shares. In exchange for the deal, Aston Martin will get access to “advanced technologies” being developed by Mercedes, including hybrid and electric powertrains. This is no small offer, considering Mercedes is now considered one of the market leaders in electric vehicle development. In fact, the company says it is valuing the tech transfer at $371 million.
And let’s be honest: Aston Martin needs a boost — a big one. The car maker has struggled with weak demand, operating losses and anemic stock prices over the past few years. What it does have going for it is a strong brand name and history, and it could do worse than hitching its wagon to a star like Mercedes-Benz, which has been aggressive — even during the pandemic — in investing in tech and going all-in on luxury.