Aston Martin announces strongest sales for nine years to buck the national trend

Sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has announced its strongest full year sales for nine years – bucking the national trend, which show an annual fall in new car sales for the first time in six years.

Warwickshire-based Aston Martin said 5,117 vehicles last year amid sell-out demand for its DB11 model and special vehicles including the Vanquish Zagato and Aston Martin Vantage GT8.

Retail sales, which saw a 58% year-on-year increase, outpaced wholesale supply (up 38%) and the group now expects to exceed its previous full-year guidance of adjusted EBITDA of at least £180m on revenues of more than £840m.

The picture is in sharp contrast to the picture across the whole of the UK.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said new car sales fell for the first time in six years last year with demand for diesel cars down by almost a fifth.

Full figures are expected to be published later but estimates for 2017 show overall sales down by 5.6%, with diesel sales plunging 17%.

A general lack of confidence among consumers caused by uncertainty over Brexit is thought to be to blame.

The SMMT has predicted the situation will continue to deteriorate in 2018, with sales falling somewhere between 5 to 7%.

The figures make the performance of Aston Martin all the more impressive – although these figures are for global sales, not solely the UK.

Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and CEO, said: “We continue to perform ahead of expectations, both in terms of financial performance and in meeting our targets for the DB11 and special vehicles.

“This strong sales performance shows that our Second Century transformation plan is building momentum. Phase Two of the programme will be largely completed in 2018 with the introduction of the Vanquish replacement and production of the new Vantage, contributing to continued sustainable profitability at Aston Martin.”

The figures show that for 2017 as a whole, the Gaydon-based manufacturer achieved its highest full-year sales volumes in nine years, driven by rising demand in North America, the UK and China.

This was boosted by continued strong orders for the DB11, the Vanquish S and for special models, which more than doubled year on year to 250 vehicles.

As part of its Second Century Plan, Aston Martin is expanding its UK manufacturing footprint. The company has resumed output of special vehicles, notably the DB4GT Continuation, at its historic Newport Pagnell facility for the first time since 2007, while construction work is continuing at the new St Athan facility in Wales, due for completion in 2019, ahead of production of the new crossover model, the DBX SUV.

Aston Martin will report 2017 full-year earnings in March 2018.