Aston Martin Sales Are Rising, but They're About to Rise Much Faster

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
aston martin sales are rising but they re about to rise much faster

Aston Martin, builder of premium British GT cars, does not sell nearly as many cars as it used to. In fact, Aston Martin’s 2017’s output will fall some 30 percent below the brand’s record volume from a decade ago.

But that’s only part of the story. Aston Martin’s global 2017 volume will be 36-percent higher than it was just last year. Moreover, Aston Martin sales will more than double in the next two years.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Andy Palmer clarified the benefits of Aston Martin’s current sales pace. Sure, Aston Martin was selling more cars prior to the recession, but Palmer says the financial story is entirely different. “In 2007, EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization] was £92 million,” Palmer says. “Last year we were at £101 million.” Aston Martin sold 7,200 cars in 2007; only 3,687 in 2016.

Aston Martin undoubtedly faces no shortage of Brexit confusion. The definition of “local content” changes dramatically once the United Kingdom departs the European Union. Regardless of the changes the brand would need to make, Palmer says, “I can’t see a scenario where we bring engine production back.”

Aston Martin’s engines are currently built in Cologne, Germany.

Running two shifts at Aston Martin’s Gaydon assembly plant in Warwickshire, England, will likely result in 7,000 annual sales in 2019. As for operating a third shift that would drum production up to 10,000 units in Gaydon, Palmer explains that, “it’s quite inefficient to do a three-shift system.”

“Usually, the extra money you put in and the extra production you get out are not linear,” the formerly the chief planning officer at Nissan and Infiniti’s chairman says. “You can do it, but it’s better to build a new factory.”

Speaking of new factories, production of the DBX, Aston Martin’s SUV, will begin in St Athan, Wales, in 2019. We leaned previously that the production DBX won’t maintain the concept’s coupe bodystyle. That’s surely necessary if the DBX is going to achieve volume levels “about the same as the Bentley Bentayga.” That’s about 5,000 annual sales, or about what Aston Martin earns right now from an expansive network of cars: DB11, Rapide, Vanquish, Vantage.

But will the DBX, which Palmer previously said was necessary for the survival of the brand, merely steal sales from Aston Martin’s current car lineup? “I think we will end up taking customers from Range Rovers and Cayennes,” Palmer says. “72 percent of our customers globally have an SUV in their garage, mostly Range Rovers.”

[Images: Aston Martin]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Oct 08, 2017

    The marque is unprofitable, my suspicion is this is simply an attempt at stemming losses and Aston is really just a jewel in someone's crown (or possibly Daimler or Ford use it to test their technology as GM did Oldsmobile for many decades). "In 2014, Aston Martin suffered a pre-tax loss of £72 million, almost triple that of 2013 selling 3,500 cars during the year, well below 7,300 sold in 2007 and 4,200 sold in 2013.[66] In March 2014 Aston Martin issued “payment in kind” notes of US$165 million, at 10.25% interest, in addition to the £304 million of senior secured notes at 9.25% issued in 2011.[66] Aston Martin also had to secure an additional investment of £200 million from its shareholders to fund development of new models.[66] It is reported that Aston Martin's pre-tax losses for 2016 increased by 27% to £162.8 million, the sixth year it continued to suffer a loss.[67]"

    • See 2 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Oct 09, 2017

      @28-Cars-Later British brands are not supposed to be profitable, like Tesla. It is about prestige, like owning crown jewels or Queen herself. I remembers Ford was losing billions on AM/LR and was proud to own them. Until Alan came and restored sanity. Ford is losing sanity again lately unfortunately.

  • NMGOM NMGOM on Oct 09, 2017

    Aston Martin? Sales Rising? Do they make pickup trucks? No, you say? Then they are irrelevant and uninteresting for the "Good Ole' USA"... ===================

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