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Aston Martin is selling way fewer cars in Europe than last year

Posted at 2:55 AM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 07:56:08-04

Aston Martin lost nearly a quarter of its value Wednesday after the luxury car maker cut its sales forecast for the year and reported severe weakness in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The company’s stock plunged 23% in trading in London, dipping below £8 ($10) per share.

The carmaker blamed macro-economic uncertainty and weakness in UK and European markets for the cuts to its guidance. It now expects to sell between 6,300 and 6,500 vehicles to dealerships this year — about 11% down on a forecast it made in May.

“We are disappointed that short-term wholesales have fallen short of our original expectations,” said Andy Palmer, president and CEO for Aston Martin Lagonda, in a statement. “We are today taking decisive action to manage inventory and the Aston Martin Lagonda brands for the long-term.”

In the first half of the year, sales to dealerships in the United Kingdom dropped 17% compared to the same period a year ago. In the rest of Europe, sales fell 19%.

The company plans to release an SUV later this year could bolster sales. Longer term, it hopes that electronic vehicles will account for 25% of sales, and hybrids for a much of the rest.

There were a couple of bright spots. Wholesale growth in the Americas and Asia Pacific spiked 54% and 24%, respectively, during the first six months of 2019.

The company also lowered its adjusted operating profit margin for the year to 8%, down from 13% previously.

Last October, Aston Martin joined the ranks of listed automakers with an IPO that valued the British company at more than $5 billion. But its shares have dropped 58% since then.

Aston Martin’s owners include Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, private equity firm Investindustrial and investors based in Kuwait.

— Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect stock price for Aston Martin.