Aston Martin looking for development partner to make engines image

Aston Martin is reportedly in talks with potential partners to jointly develop high-end engines and electronic parts for its lineup.

The British maker of sports cars is holding discussions with Daimler AG and other manufacturers and aims to reach an agreement within the next two months, said Investindustrial Chairman Andrea Bonomi. Investindustrial recently bought a 37.5 percent stake in the UK manufacturer for 190 million euros ($254 million) in a capital increase.

Aston Martin aims to invest 500 million pounds ($800 million) over the next four years to develop the brand, Bonomi said at an event in Milan on the future of the Italian auto industry. Aston Martin is the only global luxury-car brand that is not owned by a larger manufacturing group and has difficulties to cover development costs for new models and technologies. Bonomi said Investindustrial plans to remain an Aston Martin shareholder for at least 10 years to rebuild the brand.

Following Investindustrial’s cash influx, Aston Martin can now compete with rival companies such as Bentley, Ferrari and Maserati. Daimler declined to comment on possible talks with Aston Martin.

The main shareholder in Aston Martin is Investment Dar, the Kuwaiti sovereign wealth fund. Investment Dar and a group of investors bought Aston Martin in 2007 for 503 million pounds.

Investindustrial has a track record of turning around high- end vehicle manufacturers, selling Italian motorcycle maker Ducati to VW’s Audi last year. Investindustrial plans to remain an Aston Martin shareholder for at least 10 years to rebuild the brand, Bonomi said.