Since January, Aston has sold 4250 cars worldwide, of which 2186 were DBXs. That's despite restricted production capacity at the firm's new St Athan factory during the ramp-up to full-scale output.
China alone accounts for 16% of Aston sales so far this year, compared with 6% in 2020, and sales in this market have surged by 600% year on year.
The brand is well under way with its 'Project Horizon' transformation strategy, just over a year since ex-AMG boss Tobias Moers took over as CEO, and compared with this time in 2020, it has almost tripled its year-to-date revenues, which currently run at £736.4 million.
But the short-term impact of the transformation plan is a dramatic increase in debt repayments in the third quarter, which rose from £79m to £133m year on year as Aston pays back the interest on a substantial £1.1 billion loan it took out last October.
That's partly why its pre-tax loss last quarter climbed from 2020's £80.5m to £97.9m. The Financial Times quotes Aston's finance boss, Ken Gregor, as saying that the costs are "higher than we would have wished" and that the firm will bear the brunt of these interest repayments until "probably 2023".
However, operating losses were reduced significantly from £69.8m in Q3 2020 to £30.2m, which Ason said is "despite increased investment in brand and marketing activities, particularly in Q3, higher D&A and non-repeat of 2020 £13m furlough credit".
A strengthened brand positioning, Aston said, is supporting higher pricing and improved residuals, in part because the firm has just launched a new-look configurator that has tripled the number of leads to dealerships, is recording spikes in website traffic during Formula 1 races and features prominently in the latest James Bond film, which was released in October.
In addition, a new paint shop facility at the St Athan plant has delivered "efficiency and quality improvements" and Aston is striving to "mitigate disruption" caused by the ongoing supply chain difficulties that are blighting the industry, although it has not detailed the specific impact of the semiconductor shortage.
With its financial status taken into account, Aston Martin has reiterated its ambition to achieve 10,000 annual sales by 2024/2025, which would net around £2bn in revenue and £500m in pre-tax earnings.
It estimates it will finish 2021 with 6000 sales, with an earnings margin of around 14%, taking into account the £15m impact of Aston's legal proceedings against Nebula Project AG, a Swiss car dealership alleged to have withheld customer deposits for the Valkyrie hypercar.