Aston Martin Lagonda’s attempted turnaround went into reverse as the pandemic took its toll, the company has revealed.
Losses before tax in 2020 rose to £466 million compared with a £120 million loss a year earlier as it wrote off almost £100 million of investments in scrapped projects, including plans for an electric vehicle.
The delay to the latest James Bond film, No Time To Die, also meant the marketing opportunities to show off its cars was lost. Sales dropped 38% to £611 million.
Bosses had pinned their hopes on the company’s first SUV, with its new DBX impressing. It helped revenues in the final quarter of 2020 rise 3% compared with a year earlier.
A total of 4,150 cars were sold in 2020 – a third fewer than a year earlier, although bosses had already said they wished to sell a smaller number of vehicles in the hope of regaining greater exclusivity to its brand.
The pandemic did have an impact, forcing the temporary closure of both its factories and dealerships at varying points during the year.
Chief executive Tobias Moers said: “On joining Aston Martin, my first priority was successfully launching our first SUV, the DBX.
“Demand is strong and we have wholesaled 1,516 units, with all dealers now having their demonstrator and floorplan models.
“Actions were already under way on rebalancing supply to demand for GT and Sports cars, where we have made tremendous progress and are ahead of plan with encouraging signs for demand. Finally, Specials are integral to our plan.
“The era defining Aston Martin Valkyrie is a priority this year and we are on track for deliveries to start in the second half.”
The company has lost £638 million in the three years since it listed on the London Stock Exchange. In January 2020 it was forced to accept a £500 million rescue deal by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.
The businessman replaced Andy Palmer as chief executive with Mr Moers, who joined from Daimler’s high-performance division Mercedes-AMG.
He aims to sell around 6,000 cars this year, increased to 10,000 cars by 2024 or 2025, with revenues hitting £2 billion.