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Aston Martin and Lucid Is an Odd Couple Pairing That Just Might Work

• AMG appears to be unwinding its relationship with Aston Martin.

• The British brand could be scooped up by Geely.

• U.S. EV startup Lucid might be the best pairing of all.

Aston Martin’s friends-with-benefits relationship with AMG is coming undone. Former AMG chief Tobias Moers was pushed out as Aston CEO last year, and the makeshift R&D satellite he set up around the corner from AMG in Affalterbach was shuttered before it could even begin operation. The British brand still uses AMG engines and Benz’s previous-gen infotainment systems. And Mercedes will honor all contracts and provide Aston with know-how and parts until the last of Aston’s current gas-powered models bites the dust in 2026 or 2027.

However, according to several sources, Aston’s planned all-new EV lineup, which was to see replacements for Vantage, DB11, DBS, and DBX in the 2026-2029 timeframe, will no longer use the Mercedes AMG 59X matrix. Quips a German insider: “AMG and Pagani—that’s true friendship. AMG and Aston is merely a business case with a fixed expiration date.”

While it is possible for Aston to extend the life cycle of its current portfolio, the marque is increasingly desperate for pace-setting fresh metal. Topping the list is a striking all-new EV coupe/convertible aimed squarely at the 2026 Ferrari F8 Tributo/Roma replacement. Executive chairman Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian billionaire who led a consortium to take a controlling stake in Aston Martin in 2020, slotted in former Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa to replace Moers. The chief sales and marketing manager Marco Matteacci, the CTO Roberto Fedeli, and other Italian high-flyers have been recruited from the deep Ferrari/Lamborghini/Maserati talent pool, but it’s increasingly clear that talent isn’t enough. Aston needs a strategic partner.

Aston Martin DBX.

Aston Martin

Geely Getting Interested?

After Stroll’s group, and Mercedes-Benz, the next biggest shareholder in Aston Martin is Geely’s Li Shifu. The acquisitive Geely chief is reportedly interested in adding Aston Martin to his mixed bag of brands, which includes Volvo, Polestar, and Lotus. The Anglophile Shifu is a true Aston aficionado who allegedly developed a habit of giving his daughter a bespoke English sports car as a birthday present. To obtain control of Aston Martin, the Chinese tycoon could either take advantage of the British concern’s modest market cap of $1.2 billion and engineer a straightforward buyout or attempt a friendly takeover with potentially significant two-way synergy effects for Aston, Lotus, and potentially some of his Chinese brands.

Lucid Could Be a Win-Win

So far, though, Stroll has ignored Geely’s courtship. Instead, Stroll has started flirting with the Saudi Arabian government fund PIF. The Saudis are in the position to offer fresh money as well as a tech partnership with Lucid Motors, in which they own a 60.5 percent controlling interest. Stroll has also recently started talking again directly to Lucid’s Peter Rawlinson and Eric Bach. Why Lucid? Because cooperating with the U.S. EV startup may well lead to a win-win scenario. The original idea conceived in late 2021 was for Lucid to cover vehicles up to $200,000, while Aston would cater to the $225,000-plus clientele including the supercar/hypercar segment. At the same time, the Americans would terminate their own patchy and underfinanced distribution scheme and join forces with the 134 established Aston dealers.

2022 lucid air front

Aston’s traditional fortes include lightweight architectures, head-turning design, and industry-leading personalization. The major strengths of Lucid are electrification and digitalization. But as far as bending sheetmetal, putting the pieces together, and turning it into something that drives rather well and lasts, Aston has a clear edge over the startup. So, in an odd way, these two unlikely partners could actually be a good match.

In an ideal world, both brands should benefit from and motivate each other. Imagine the Lucid Air 2.0 spawning an Aston Martin Lagonda, or the Lucid Gravity SUV sharing its genes with the next-gen DBX. Already, Aston allegedly agreed in late January to buy electric motors from Lucid (and, pointedly, not Mercedes). This scenario is still overshadowed, however, by Aston’s heavy debt burden and Lucid’s rapid cash burn rate, to name only two complicating factors.

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