James Bond Favorite Aston Martin Lagonda Loses $17 Million In Third Quarter

Topline: Luxury car group Aston Martin Lagonda posted a $17 million (£13.5 million) loss in its third quarter amid “tough trading conditions,” CEO Andy Palmer said, with demand and wholesale sales to dealerships falling as the global car industry continues to struggle.

  • The three months to September saw a 16% fall in wholesale sales at dealerships to 1,497 vehicles as demand in the U.K. dropped 22% on the previous quarter.
  • Wholesale demand also weakened for its year-old Vantage model, a $150,000 two-seater sports car that helped to double wholesale orders last year.
  • Retail sales in the period fell 6% for the 106-year-old carmaker, but it hopes the launch of its first SUV, the DBX, will boost sales into 2020.
  • The firm’s loss before tax was $17 million (£13.5), against a profit of $4 million (£3.1 million) in the same period last year while revenue fell 11% to $321 million (£250 million).
  • Shares rose in early trading but were down 3% after the Birmingham-based car marker warned wholesale volumes were likely to continue to fall below predictions, and further cost cutting.

Crucial quote: “Tough trading conditions, particularly in the UK and Europe, persist and whilst retail sales have grown 13% year-to-date, wholesale volumes remain under pressure ... the segment of the market in which Vantage competes is declining, and notwithstanding a growing market-share, Vantage demand remains weaker than our original plans.,” said Palmer.

Key background: The launch of the Aston Martin DBX SUV in Beijing next month is a make-or-break gamble for the British luxury car brands. Aston Martin went public in October 2018, but the value of its shares have slumped 75% to just £4.07 ($5.22) a share as the automotive industry’s global malaise, Brexit uncertainty and a weakening global economy weighed on sales of its high-end sports cars.

Additional fact: Aston said that the upcoming 25th James Bond film No Time To Die, slated for release in April 2020, will feature four Aston Martin cars: the DB5, V8 Saloon, the DBS Superleggera and the Valhalla.

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I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night rep