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Aston Martin plans production surge

As new SUV brightens outlook.
Image: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc will almost double production this year after working through inventory issues that have plagued the luxury-car maker since its 2018 initial public offering.

The British manufacturer plans to make 6 000 vehicles this year, up from just 3 394 in 2020, according to a statement Thursday. Aston Martin’s quarterly revenue and adjusted earnings beat estimates on strong demand for its DBX sport utility vehicle.

Aston Martin is in the midst of a restructuring plan a year after it was bailed out by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll. The 61-year-old fashion mogul has injected much-needed cash and forged closer ties with Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz to ensure the company survives tumultuous times for the auto industry.

After not having turned a profit since it went public in 2018, Stroll has set targets for Aston to earn 500 million pounds on 2 billion pounds of revenue by 2025. Stroll also has returned the company to Formula 1 racing.

The carmaker is counting on sales of the DBX that Stroll has previously said was sold out through April to pace its recovery. Deliveries of the model began last year in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. The carmaker also will begin shipping its Valkyrie hypercar in the second half of 2021 as planned.

Aston reached an agreement in October for Mercedes to supply hybrid and electric powertrains to the UK company, building on an engine tie-up that started in 2013. In exchange, Aston will issue new shares to Mercedes, which will boost its stake from 2.6% to as much as 20% over three years.

Aston tried banking off Ferrari NV’s successful 2015 IPO with its own listing three years later, but disappointing sales and inventory issues have sent the shares down 84% since their debut.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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