Dieter Zetsche, Mercedes’ boss, announced he is willing to collaborate with Aston Martin on future projects.
Investment Dar, which plans to sell half of Aston Martin, received offers from Investindustrial and Mahindra & Mahindra. To stay ahead of Mahindra, which has offered a higher bid, Invest Industrial included a technical partnership with Mercedes as part of the deal, besides the 250 million pounds ($400 million) offered.
“Aston Martin is a great brand and I must say Dr Ulrich Bez [Aston’s CEO] is doing a great job with them. If a company that sells a few thousand vehicles wants to talk then we might do that, I am open to it. But it must not distract from our core business,” said Zetsche adding that no deal has been done.
It is rumored that Aston Martin is seeking AMG’s new V12 petrol engine in order to replace the old engine developed by Ford. But an anonymous source said that the deal will imply more than just new drivelines. Aston Martin will also need electronic architectures, besides improved emissions and increased performance.
Mercedes and Investindustrial have a long history together, dating back to when the German automaker owned Ducati. And since the marketing deals between them were successful, Mercedes looks for future projects with Investindustrial.
“We know these guys. They were behind Ducati and we had a very closely knit marketing deal with them. They rang and asked if they won the bid for Aston would we be interested in being a technology partner,” said a senior Mercedes source.