Aston Martin delivers first of £2 million-plus hypercars as luxury SUV sales gather pace

Sports car-maker Aston Martin Lagonda said it had begun shipping its £2 million-plus Valkyrie hypercar to customers following delays as it updated investors on its financial fortunes.

The company's DBX sport utility vehicle (SUV) - on which Aston’s shift into higher volumes, and stronger profitability, is pinned - is selling well, with more than 3,000 units shifted last year.

Wholesale sales grew 82 per cent to 6,182, including 3,001 new DBX cars - taking around 20 per cent of the luxury SUV sector. Sales of the DBX, which retails for around £160,000, along with GT/sport vehicles on forecourts were greater than wholesale volumes.

The group said its first Valkyrie hypercar shipped at the end of last year, having earlier faced electrical issues.

The Prince of Wales inspecting the Aston Martin DBX model during a visit to the Aston Martin Lagonda factory in Wales.

The first model was built in November, but only ten have so far been shipped to wealthy customers - fewer than previously planned.

In a trading update, Aston said: “Following an extensive and challenging development and testing schedule, which has now successfully completed, the game-changing Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar programme is in production and deliveries to customers have commenced.”

As a result of the delays, underlying pre-tax profits will be around £15m lower than expected when the firm announces its full-year results later this year.

But bosses said this is only a timing issue, and profits from the vehicle will be reflected in future results.

Cash balance at the end of the year for Aston Martin will now be £420m - higher than expected.

Executive chairman Lawrence Stroll said: “I am extremely pleased that our core business has delivered to plan with over 6,000 core wholesales in the year whilst driving inventory to levels that are appropriate for an ultra-luxury business.

“The evidence is there that our strategy is working, as retail sales are well ahead of wholesales supported by strong pricing and improving residual values. It has been a very long time since the core business was in such good health as it is today.

“We have achieved an enormous amount and are well on track with our transformation of Aston Martin into one of the greatest ultra-luxury brands in the world with new leadership, partners and products, and our return to Formula One, which has significantly increased our brand exposure, perception and desirability.

“We inherited a challenging programme with Valkyrie but we are now producing these fabulous hypercars.”

Chief executive Tobias Moers said: “Our core business delivered as planned while navigating a challenging external operating environment. Brand desirability is strong, with new customers being attracted to Aston Martin and retail sales ahead of wholesales as we follow our demand-led ultra-luxury business model.

“We are achieving strong pricing and closed the year with dealer stock at optimum levels aligned to our business approach.

“With the DBX having achieved about 20 per cent share of the luxury SUV market I am pleased that we also successfully launched the DBX straight-six in China in November as planned, creating opportunities for 2022.

“There is also tremendous demand for our limited editions including the two times oversubscribed Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider, launched in August, and the plug-in hybrid super car Valhalla.”

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