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Aston Martin on track for profitable year despite prior setbacks

Aston Martin Vantage Tungsten Silver added spark to the famous brand. Photo courtesy Pinterest.

Ian Bourne

Staff Writer

Aston Martin is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, but ever since the mid to late 2000’s the exclusive luxury sports car manufacturer has posted lackluster sales figures. Until now.

 

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2017 marked a milestone year for Britain’s darling auto manufacturer. Aston Martin Holdings (UK) Ltd. posted a record sales year breaking the 5,000-unit mark for the first time since 2008. That is 5,117 cars sold to be exact, which marks a 58% increase over 2016. As for the revenue that was produced last year, Aston leaped over 2016’s $244 million pre-tax earnings posting a record $1.1 billion in pre-tax revenue. President and CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer, predicted this large-scale success way back in 2016 with the announcement of the Second Century plan and the debut of the highly anticipated DB11. Aston managed to follow Dr. Palmer’s initiative selling out of their halo sports car in coupe form. As for the V8 and Volante variations, both exceeded expected order numbers with increasingly high demand.

 

The success isn’t limited to one model though. The Vantage GT8 and Vanquish S also saw an increase in orders placed with the most surprising rise coming from Aston’s boutique branch Zagato which nearly doubled their original projections with the Vanquish Zagato variations. “We continue to perform ahead of expectations, both in terms of financial performance and in meeting our targets for the DB11 and special vehicles,” Palmer says. “This strong sales performance shows that our Second Century transformation plan is building momentum. Phase Two of the program will be largely completed in 2018 with the introduction of the Vanquish replacement and production of the new Vantage, contributing to continued sustainable profitability at Aston Martin.”

That Second Century plan is crucial to a brand that has stood on the brink of bankruptcy a few times in its 115-year history. When announced in 2016, Palmer eluded to the production of seven new models, including an SUV with a hybrid powertrain and an exclusive hyper-car named the Valkyrie to be developed in tandem with Adrian Newey and the Red Bull Formula 1 team. Palmer has said that the development of four of the seven new models has already been paid for thanks to very eager investors. Investor money was also put forth in the creation of a new facility in Wales, which will be critical in the production of their SUV.

 

The wheels of this plan have already been put into motion with the DB11 which is the first of the seven new models and moreover, the most important. New Vantage and Vanquish models will share structural elements as well as powertrain hardware with the DB11. Furthermore, a momentous partnership with Daimler-Mercedes, who now owns five percent of Aston Martin, will provide electrical architecture and a V8 engine variation in the DB11 and the new Vantage. Palmer also mentioned the production of two sedans that will likely share the same hybrid powertrain as the upcoming SUV.

 

“To me, hybridization is as inevitable as death and taxes and it makes sense in the SUVs and sedans,” Palmer says. Both sedans will sport the famous Lagonda badge with one being set to compete on the same level as the Maybach S600 and the second, which will slot in underneath in terms of size. With investors eager to see where Dr. Palmer will take the storied brand and a strong development plan in place, Aston Martin is on track for another record-breaking sales year in 2018.