Company Briefs: Aston Martin

Aston Martin

British carmaker Aston Martin unveiled its first-ever sports utility vehicle on Wednesday at events in Beijing and Los Angeles, signalling it was banking on China's growing appetite for luxury to prop up sales.

Dubbed the DBX, the new vehicle is the biggest expansion in Aston Martin's range, chief executive officer Andy Palmer said.

The company whose cars play a central role in the fictional James Bond films has struggled financially in recent years, reporting a loss of £13.5 million (S$23.8 million) last quarter, AFP reported.

Founded in 1913, Aston Martin hopes to "more than double" its sales in China, where it currently stands at around 500 units per year, Mr Palmer told AFP.

Wilmar International

Singapore agribusiness Wilmar International hopes to receive regulatory approval early next year for the initial public offering (IPO) of its China business, Yihai Kerry Arawana Holdings (YKA), it said yesterday.

Wilmar, which is valued at more than US$19 billion (S$25.9 billion), had announced its intention to list the business in 2017, after having shelved plans for a roughly US$3 billion listing of its Chinese unit in Hong Kong in 2009.

"Regarding YKA IPO, we are waiting for approval from the Chinese regulators, and we hope to receive it by early 2020," Wilmar said.

In August, the company said it had applied to list the business on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Wilmar counts China, where it has more than 300 plants and a wide marketing and distribution network, as a major market.

BMW

German carmaker BMW said yesterday it was massively increasing orders of battery cells for electric cars for the coming decade, as it plans dozens of new electrified models.

The total increase of €6.2 billion (S$9.36 billion) will come from a new €2.9 billion contract with Samsung-SDI and an increase from four billion to 7.3 billion in orders from Chinese battery manufacturer CATL, it said.

German carmakers have been squeezed by years of emissions scandals and tougher greenhouse gas rules in Europe into making big bets on electric mobility.

The announcement "secures long-term battery cell needs" for the company, BMW said, adding that it was itself organising supplies of raw materials cobalt and lithium to the cell makers. By 2023, the group plans to offer 25 "electrified" models including hybrids and full battery-electric vehicles.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2019, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe