LONDON: Luxury British carmaker Aston Martin swung to a third quarter loss on Thursday, saying its full-year wholesale volumes would be lower than previously guided after slumping demand in Europe and Asia.
Volumes to dealers fell 16 percent to 1,497 cars in the three months to the end of September as demand in Europe, the Middle East and Africa area dropped 17 percent and Asia was down by a third, hit by weak demand for the company’s Vantage model.
The 106-year company, famed for being fictional agent James Bond’s brand of choice, is taking action to cut costs and hopes the launch of its first sport utility vehicle, the DBX, at a new factory in Wales, will boost performance next year.
“We’re essentially holding the cost of a complete factory right now without the benefit of the revenues coming in ... so from that point of view of course it’s a really important model,” said Chief Executive Andy Palmer.
Aston, based in Gaydon near Birmingham, posted a £13.5 million loss in the three months to the end of September, but said it still expects to meet market expectations of core earnings at around £203 million ($261 million).
The global automotive industry has undergone a torrid year, hit by declining sales in China, trade war worries between the world’s two biggest economies, a slump in diesel sales in Europe and the need to invest heavily in electrification.
But Aston has also suffered since its flotation in October last year when shares launched at £19 ($24.50) before dropping for months and languishing at between £4 and £5 for the last few weeks.
Earlier this year, the company announced it was raising $150 million in debt at a 12 percent interest rate to bolster its balance sheet ahead of the launch of the DBX.
On Thursday, Aston said its net interest expense guidance for 2019 now stood at around £83 million, also affected by the impact of unhedged expenses in US dollars, with prior guidance at roughly £70 million.
Aston said it could thrive on its own alongside its work with German carmaker Daimler, which has a small stake in the firm.