Aston Martin has suffered its fair share of financial troubles, most recently with its troubled initial public offering (IPO) in 2018. But finally, things are looking up. The automaker just received a huge cash injection from a consortium led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll, one of the owners of the Racing Point Formula 1 team. As part of the deal announced this week, Stroll’s Racing Point will become Aston Martin’s F1 works team starting in the 2021 season, while Stroll’s business will take a 20 percent stake in Aston Martin, and Stroll will replace Penny Hughes as the company’s executive chairman.
That doesn’t mean Aston Martin is finished with the Red Bull Racing F1 team just yet. Its sponsorship of the Red Bull team continues through the 2020 season before switching over to Racing Point. Also, Aston’s technology partnership with Red Bull will continue until the radical Valkyrie hypercar arrives later this year.
So, how’d Aston Martin get here? The automaker is in a cash crunch as it prepares to release the highly-anticipated DBX SUV, which is being made in a costly new factory in St Athan, South Wales. After a tough 2019 with slow sales, higher selling costs, and lower margins than expected, Aston is looking to raise £500 million (about $660 million), with £182 million ($240 million) of that money coming from Stroll.
Cash raining down from Stroll will be critical. The DBX will launch in the second quarter of the year, followed quickly by the Vantage Roadster in the spring. The Valkyrie AMR Pro is still expected to be revealed in 2021, when the first deliveries of the V12 Speedster also are expected. Aston’s mid-engine Vanquish is now anticipated to arrive after the Valhalla, which will debut in 2022. That’s a busy schedule, and, yes, Aston Martin is still working on a fuel-efficient new V-6 engine for hybrid variants of its core models, too.
The all-electric Rapid E’s development is “substantially complete,” per Aston, and the program isn’t the only one on pause for the time being, pending a review. Development of all Aston Martin electric vehicles is suspended beyond 2025, including the previously planned relaunch of the Lagonda brand (and its sedan and SUV models) in 2022.
Sources: Aston Martin, BBC News
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