Aston Martin losses increase as new sports model suffers production issues

British luxury car maker lowers 2023 volumes for its DB12 next generation sports car after 'supplier readiness' and production delays

The Aston Martin DB12 is powered by an updated Mercedes-AMG-sourced four-litre twin-turbo V8 that puts out 680hp and 800Nm. All photos: Aston Martin
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British luxury carmaker Aston Martin parked a larger-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday, as issues with production drove down 2023 volume estimates of its new DB12 sports model.

Shares in the company, which is based in Gaydon in Warwickshire, fell more than 7 per cent in early trading in London.

Aston Martin began to deliver the first of its new DB12s in the quarter, but has now reduced its volume forecast for 2023 from 7,000 to 6,700 units.

The company said production was affected by "supplier readiness" and delays surrounding the DB12's revamped infotainment system.

'Game-changing DB12'

Nonetheless, Aston Martin said these issues are now resolved and that orders are strong into the second quarter of next year.

"During Q3 we commenced deliveries of the game-changing DB12, the first of our next-generation sports cars which has been met with industry-wide acclaim and exceptional demand since its launch," said Aston Martin's chief executive Amedeo Felisa.

"Given the slight delays in the initial production ramp-up we have marginally updated our volume expectations for the year."

Nonetheless, the company expects to accelerate production in 2024.

"The launch of the DB12, which has seen extraordinary demand, is driving a reappraisal of Aston Martin among new audiences, with 55 per cent of initial DB12 customers new to the brand," executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said.

In its third quarter, the luxury car maker reported an adjusted operating loss of £48.4 million ($58.82 million) on revenue of £362.1 million.

Most analysts had expected an adjusted operating loss of about £38 million.

'Robust demand'

Nonetheless, Aston Martin is faring better than most among the world's luxury car makers.

Over the past week, Mercedes-Benz said high inflation had affected its earnings in recent months and Porsche warned that the luxury sector was being battered by reduced consumer spending, especially in the US and Europe.

“Aston Martin’s full year plans haven’t been driven off course, despite a blip in production of new models, said Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

"Higher average selling prices have come to the rescue once more, with an Aston Martin now setting customers back a whopping £234,000 on average.

"This includes robust demand for higher margin specials, which are customised and a lot more lucrative than the core ranges.

"Having come cap-in-hand to investors in the summer, it’s crucial that Aston Martin comes good on its plans to fire up its profit and cash-flow engines – there is a limit to the market’s patience and generosity.

"The longer-term picture is muddied somewhat by the pivot to electric vehicles. While a lot’s being thrown at the electrification of Aston Martin, there’s no proof-proving pudding to be had just yet. That increases risk and interrupts the market being able to become too excited just yet," she added.

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Updated: November 01, 2023, 10:32 AM