Aston Martin gives green light to £30m Brexit fund
The luxury carmaker says 2018 proved an “outstanding” year and it is on track to handle the UK’s looming departure from the EU.
The decision marks the latest in a string of actions by the car industry – with the sector firmly opposed to a no-deal scenario.
Aston has made no secret of the fact its business is less exposed to the possibility of extra tariffs and supply disruption than its high volume rivals such as Nissan, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover.
All three have made headlines in recent weeks for investment decisions such as Honda’s decision to shut its Swindon plant – though Brexit has only formed part of the story as weaknesses in the global economy have dominated.
Aston Martin – best known worldwide for its association with the James Bond movie franchise – said it had enjoyed sales growth across all regions in 2018 – including China.
It reported record revenue of £1.1bn – a rise of 25% on 2017 – though its bottom line was hit by a series of costs including £136m linked to its stock market listing.
The company achieved a pre-tax loss of £68.2m following profits of £85m the previous year.
The carmaker produced five new models last year: the Vantage and DBS Superleggera, along with special editions of the Vanquish Zagato sports cars and a remake of the DB4 GT Continuation, which won on its race debut at Silverstone in 1959 when driven by Stirling Moss. The average selling price per vehicle was £141,000.
Aston Martin will start the first production trial of the crossover model DBX, its first sports utility vehicle, at its new St Athan factory in south Wales between April and June, with full production starting early next year.
The site will also be the centre for battery electric vehicle production and the home of the Lagonda and the Rapide E – Aston Martin’s first all-electric production car – which is on track to start production this year.