auto

Aston Martin posts heavy losses but hope springs from DBX debut


Aston Martin has revealed losses of almost half-a-billion pounds as the pandemic continued to take its toll on the Warwickshire car maker.

Losses before tax in 2020 rose to £466m compared with a £120m loss a year earlier.

The figures reflect the Gaydon-headquartered firm having to write off almost £100m of investments in scrapped projects, including plans for an electric vehicle.

Aston Martin was also impacted by the delay to the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die.

That meant the loss of marketing opportunities to show off its cars.

Sales income dropped by 38% to £611m.



The Aston Martin DBX

Bosses had pinned their hopes on the company’s first SUV, the DBX, which is being built in a new factory in St Athan, South Wales.

It was well received and sold well and offers hope going forward.

DBX sales of more than 1,500 vehicles helped revenues in the final quarter of 2020 rise 3% compared with a year earlier.

A total of 4,150 cars were sold in 2020 – a third fewer than a year earlier, although bosses had already said they wished to sell a smaller number of vehicles in the hope of reclaiming greater exclusivity for the brand.

The pandemic had a significant impact, forcing the temporary closure of both Aston Martin factories and dealerships at varying points during the year.

Chief executive Tobias Moers said: “On joining Aston Martin, my first priority was successfully launching our first SUV, the DBX.

“Demand is strong and we have wholesaled 1,516 units, with all dealers now having their demonstrator and floorplan models.

“Actions were already under way on rebalancing supply to demand for GT and sports cars, where we have made tremendous progress and are ahead of plan with encouraging signs for demand. Finally, specials are integral to our plan.

“The era defining Aston Martin Valkyrie is a priority this year and we are on track for deliveries to start in the second half.”



Tobias Moers

The company has lost £638m in the three years since it listed on the London Stock Exchange.

In January 2020 it was forced to accept a £500m rescue deal by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

The businessman replaced Andy Palmer as chief executive with Mr Moers, who joined from Daimler’s high-performance division Mercedes-AMG.

The company aims to sell around 6,000 cars this year, increased to 10,000 cars by 2024 or 2025, with revenues hitting £2 billion.

Warwickshire automotive expert Dr Charles Tennant said Aston Martin’s losses did not come as a big surprise.

He said: “ Aston Martin has been through a turbulent time since listing on the stock exchange in 2018 and since then has had a management clear out under the direction of its new boss – the Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

“He is also a Formula One team owner and is taking Aston Martin back in after a six-decade hiatus with a race car called the AMR21 and there is even talk of him hiring Sir Lewis Hamilton as their driver. And why not as he has already lured the Mercedes high performance brand(AMG) supremo Tobias Moers as CEO of Aston Martin.

“With an expensive Formula One team aimed at providing a halo effect – race on Sunday sell on Monday – and a new strategy based on building cars to sold customer orders, rather than pushing production out as dealer stock it is understandable that losses would mount in the short-term.

“With the coronavirus effect added in it was inevitable that sales would fall and with excess dealer stock cleared out at discounted prices then profits had to suffer as well.”

Mr Tennant added: “Sales were down to 4,150 which was a third less than in 2019 and Aston Martin has now lost £638m in the last three years.

“But it is not all bad news as the DBX sport utility vehicle – priced at £158,000 – was successfully launched and has been well received by the motoring press, selling 1,500 last year.

“Overall sales – including the sports cars – are planned to be 6,000 this year and 10,000 by 2025 providing much needed profitable revenue of £2 billion.

“The city is enthusiastic at this prospect and the share price shares rose 11% to £22.14 with expectations that the company will return to profit this year.”

To sign up for our newsletter, delivered free to your inbox, click here





READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more