Report: Mercedes-Benz to Maintain Current Stake in Aston Martin
Despite earlier speculation that Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler was gearing up to buy out Aston Martin, Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche continues to deny such claims. In a recent interview with Autocar, Zetsche maintained that he was happy with Mercedes-Benz's current five percent non-voting stake in the British sport and luxury brand, and that no takeover is imminent.
Zetsche told Autocar in Paris that it, "would not be in Aston's interests to be incorporated into a big corporate organization." On top of that, he said that Aston's 4000 annual units could be distracting from Mercedes' core business: "The [current] deal is a perfect fit for both brands as it allows Aston to remain independent but also benefit from outside technology."
That "outside technology" will be used in the next generation of Aston Martin vehicles. The twin-turbo V-8 from the Mercedes-AMG GT and AMG C63 is said to be already earmarked for the next-gen Aston Martin Vantage, and Aston will also have access to Mercedes' seven-, eight-, and nine-speed automatic transmissions, as well as plug-in hybrid technologies and electronic platform components.
Although some Aston officials claim there is still more life in the current VH platform used for the DB9, the future clearly rests in an all-new platform that entails significant collaboration with Mercedes-AMG. Any number of Aston's sports cars could use this new collaborative platform, meaning the next iterations of the Aston Martin Vantage, DB9, or Rapide could end up looking a lot like the Mercedes-AMG. Both future Mercedes-Benz SL- and SLK-Class sports cars will utilize the German automaker's new modular sports car architecture (MSA), which could also potentially underpin parts of Aston's future sports car lineup.
Other possible collaborations moving forward include an Aston Martin SUV, which would share its underpinnings with the next Mercedes-Benz GL.