Currently reading: Aston seals funds for DBX production but issues long-term warning
Aston to put DBX SUV into production and works F1 entry under new chairman Lawrence Stroll - but will need more investment within 12 months
Mark Tisshaw
News
3 mins read
30 March 2020

Aston Martin claims it now has the funding to last at least the next 12 months as part of a new investment into the company that will also result in it entering a works Formula 1 team in 2021

In a series of announcements this evening (30 March), Aston Martin has now formally confirmed that Racing Point F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll will take over as executive chairman on 20 April. A rights issue has raised £536 million and a further £150m will be made available to the company.

That investment will allow Aston to put the DBX SUV into production imminently after the new St Athan facility returns to operation after its Covid-19-enforced shutdown last week, subject to any delays in the production chain. The first customer deliveries are planned this summer, should the supply chain function as anticipated.

The next 12 months is considered significant for Aston, because the DBX is seen as make-or-break for the company's future. Make a success of it and it will become the firm's biggest-selling model with likely the largest profit margins. Failure would put the very future of the company at risk, given the huge investment needed to realise not just the car but also the St Athan factory in which it will be built.

But while confirming the deal, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd warned in a statement: "Taking into account the proceeds of the capital raise, the Company is of the opinion that the Group does not have sufficient working capital to meet its requirements for 12 months following the publication of the Original Prospectus."

Since the prospectus including details of Stroll's investment was published, the global pandemic has heavily impacted Aston. The firm said the resulting uncertainty raises questions over its future financial position - and makes the success of the DBX even more critical.

The investment from Stroll's so-called Yew Tree consortium stands at a total of £262 million, £171m of which has come today as part of the rights issue. The balance has come from existing company shareholders.

Aston's share price has been in freefall ever since its stock market launch at £19 per share towards the end of 2018. It fell another 18% today to finish at £2.26 per share before this deal was announced. It has tonight said that it would not have the funds to meet the 12 months of investment needed in its previous financial plan announced on 13 March due to the dramatic impact Covid-19 is having on its business.

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Stroll, who replaces outgoing chair Penny Hughes, gave little detail on the plans to enter F1 as a works team, but it's expected to be a renaming of his Racing Point squad. Aston's title sponsorship of Red Bull Racing ends this year, although the two remain committed to bringing the co-developed Valkyrie hypercar into production this year.

"I and my co-investors in the consortium continue to believe passionately in the future of Aston Martin Lagonda," said Stroll. "This is most clearly demonstrated by our investment of £262m which underpins the financial security of the company. This is a very significant capital raise of £536m - due to be made by my consortium and other shareholders at a very challenging time.

"This gives the necessary stability to reset the business for its long-term future. We have a clear plan to make this happen, including Aston Martin entering an F1 works team next season and I look forward to working with the management team to deliver this programme."

Aston CEO Andy Palmer said there were 2000-plus orders for the DBX, as well as strong early demand for the recently announced Vantage Roadster. Beyond those, development would continue on the new V6 hybrid drivetrain as well as the Valhalla and Vanquish mid-engined supercars that Aston is prioritising development of ahead of the Lagonda range of electric cars that had been due to join the DBX at St Athan.

Aston's two production sites at Gaydon and St Athan are currently on shutdown due to Covid-19, and many of its staff are being furloughed where appropriate. It has said it will look at all government help and support on offer in order to protect its future.

READ MORE

Lawrence Stroll to take bigger stake in Aston Martin 

New Aston Martin Speedster is exclusive V12 two-seater 

New Aston Martin Vantage Roadster gets fastest production roof

First drive: 2020 Aston Martin DBX prototype

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wmb 31 March 2020

What interesting to me....

...was the number of people who ragged on Aston Martin at the thought of doing a SUV/CUV/Crossover. That the thought of such a thing was sacrilege and that the companies correct leadership was out of their minds! Now, it seems, the future hopes of the survival of the whole company hangs on the success of the DBX! Just making the types of vehicles that we remember, know and love, is not a recipe for success in this day and age. I understand that there were forces at work that any company, automaker or other wise, that have come into place that no one could have expected Or prepared for! Yet, even so, I'm sure lovers of Aston Martin's of today and the past, would rather be upset that their beloved company were building SUV's, then driving this close to the edge of oblivion!

Valor1 31 March 2020

Aston Martin North America ruins the ownership experience.

I own an Aston Martin, one with a V12, and I can tell you Aston Martin North America and its dealer Ogara here in Los Angeles have been so terribly unresponsive to serious issues that have arisen with my car that I totally regreat buying an Aston Martin and next time will be buying the F8 Spider.

True fact:  When I called Aston Martin North America, located right here in California, I got a voicemail asking me to leave a message.  This is during normal business hours and it has happened repeatedly!  In fact, I have never called and gotten a person at Aston Martin North America!  You call Ferrari North America and they answer your phone call. 

Although my Aston Martin was under warranty the dealer failed to remedy defects. When I called Aston Martin North America no one answered the phone.

When I left a voicemail with Aston Martin North America no one returned my call.

When I sent a letter via the United States Postal Service to Aston Martin North America...twice...Aston Martin NA never responded. 

When you buy a car that cost more than $200,000 you think Aston Martin would at least take your phone call!

Now imagine if Aston Martin goes under?  Imagine all the headaches owners will have with less than reliable Aston Martin's and no way to get them serviced under warranty!?!

Valor1 31 March 2020

There are many reasons for Aston Martin's deserved failure(s).

Any company that, in 2020, builds "GT Cars", i.e., touring cars, without gloveboxes deserves to have a foreshadowed failure.  How could they have built cars like the Vanquish and now V8 Vantage without gloveboxes?

How could Aston Martin revise the James Bond Vantage and rather than improve the car make it significantly worse with that hideous bonnet and front bumper area?

How could any self-respecting low volume sports car company produce "superleggera" cars that weigh nearly 4,000 pounds or their small car that weighs some 3600 pounds or more when McLaren, Ferrari, Porsche, etc., are all producing cars weighing hundreds of pounds less?

The new 2 seat limited edition V12 Speedster is said to weigh nearly 4,000 pounds and it does not have a windshield, side windows, windshield wipers, no roof at all, etc.  How is this nonsense possible?

While Bentley crafts stunningly handesome GT interiors Aston Martin's Vantage interior is a huge let down and looks nothing like classic heritage inspired British opulance.

I own an Aston Martin, one with a V12, and I can tell you Aston Martin North America and its dealer have been so terribly unresponsive to serious issues that have arisen with my car that I totally regreat buying an Aston Martin and next time will be buying the F8 Spider.

True fact:  When I called Aston Martin North America, located right here in California, I got a voicemail asking me to leave a message.  This is during normal business hours and it has happened repeatedly!  In fact, I have never called and gotten a person at Aston Martin North America!  You call Ferrari North America and they answer your phone call. 

Now imagine if Aston Martin goes under?  Imagine all the headaches owners will have with less than reliable Aston Martin's and now way to get them serviced under warranty!