Aston Martin has faced and overcome many uncertainties over the course of its history. However, and not for the first time, Aston Martin is facing yet another period of uncertainty. The British supercar maker revealed a $17.4 million loss in the three months to the end of September. Vehicle sales have dropped by 16 percent to 1,497 cars sold for the quarter. In the UK sales inventory to dealers fell by 22 percent. Aston Martin also struggled to sell cars into Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to the tune of 17 percent.
Aston Martin also reported that volume sales to Asia declined by approximately one-third fueled by declining demand for the V8 Vantage. It’s no surprise that Aston Martin is expecting total volume sales for this year to fall below the prediction of 6,500 units. Aston Martin has set an ambitious production target of 14,000 vehicle unit sales by 2023.
So what’s gone wrong? Trade wars between China and the USA, Brexit, declining economies and demand. But economic strive comes with the territory. As an example demand for Ferrari road cars remains at a constant high. In 2018 Ferrari posted a 10 percent growth in demand. Yet Aston Martin is sailing towards the rocks, and not for the first time.
When Aston Martin floated on the stock market it was valued at over $1.8 billion. The company’s share value has fallen 78 percent since the initial public offering. In August Aston Martin posted a £79m loss and couldn’t fully understand why despite awarding key stakeholders £61m in bonuses.
Then Aston Martin announced it was planning to raise $150 million in debt to ensure it’s losses were covered ahead of the launch of the DBX SUV. But the interest rates of the $150 million debt is set at 12 percent. Aston Martin is banking on the DBX to become a sales bonanza. But in reality, the DBX will be a short term boost.
The DBX will not allow Aston Martin to reach its goal of manufacturing 14,000 cars per year by 2023. Indeed the DBX will serve to stabilise Aston Martin’s current situation. It will be built at a new factory in South Wales, England and will launch on November 20 with customer deliveries begining in 2020.
Vehicle sales decline and rise, that is the way of the automotive industry. But sometimes Aston Martin can be the master of its own undoing.