(From Reuters)

Aston Martin set up a venture with Chinese consumer electronics group LeEco to jointly develop the British luxury car brand’s first electric vehicle, an example of the deepening ties between the technology and automotive industries.

Companies like Alphabet and LeEco are developing automotive expertise because they want to broaden their reach beyond computers and cellphones into cars, while automakers want Internet connectivity to give drivers live traffic updates and infotainment.

Aston Martin and LeEco said they plan to develop an electric car based on the British automaker’s Rapide S model, before developing other potential electric vehicles, including for LeEco. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“It brings Aston Martin’s electric car project forward,” Aston Martin Chief Executive Andy Palmer said at a news conference in Frankfurt, adding it would come to market in 2018, and be built in Gaydon, England.

LeEco, a consumer electronics company which offers branded content via the Internet, television set top boxes and smartphones, hopes to use its captive audience and celebrity endorsements to promote cars in future. Read more

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