British luxury car maker Aston Martin is producing a limited edition of its DB4 and DBS GT Zagato Continuation models, its most expensive new cars ever.
Only 19 of the handmade models will be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2020, each with a price tag of £6 million (Dh26.59m) plus taxes, according to the company.
Production is under way at Aston Martin's Heritage Division headquarters in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England using facilities that for the first time enable multiple continuation cars to be built alongside each other. More than half the cars are currently in various stages of completion, the company said.
The latest models follow the launch of 25 DB4 GT continuations that went on sale in 2017 and precedes what Aston Martin said will be perhaps its most ambitious project to date: the DB5 Goldfinger Edition vehicles that will come to market next year.
The original DB4 GT Zagato was built to to race against Ferrari in the 1960s and each of the new DBS GT Zagato and DB4 GT Zagato sports cars takes around 4,500 hours to build, Aston Martin said.
The new cars come at a difficult time for Aston Martin. Last month, the company slumped to a half-year loss as profits were hit by a nearly 20 per cent drop in European demand.
It posted a pre-tax loss of £78.8m compared with a £20.8m profit in the first half of 2018.
Aston Martin has been undergoing a turnaround plan since chief executive Andy Palmer took over in 2014, designed to renew and boost its model line-up and move into new segments, Reuters reported.
The plan culminated in an autumn 2018 stock market flotation.
But its share price has since fallen by more than two-thirds from £19 in October to below £6, hit by a weakening performance in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where demand fell by nearly a fifth in the first six months of the year.
The results were another blow in the car maker’s struggle to convince investors that it can make the transformation from niche player to a successful listed company, and deliver on a promise to take on Ferrari in the global sales race, reported Bloomberg.
"We are disappointed that our projections for wholesales have fallen short or our original targets, impacted by weakness in two of our key markets as well as continued macro-economic uncertainty," Mr Palmer said at the time.
Overall wholesale demand grew by 6 per cent in the first six months as the group posted strong increases in the Americas and Asia but the slump in Britain and the rest of the region prompted the car maker to cut its full-year forecast.
Aston has also been hit by expansion costs as it builds a new factory to make its first 4x4 and achieve a lower average selling price.