INTERNATIONAL - Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.’s $150,000 Vantage model has already sold out almost all of its production capacity for next year, just days after the British carmaker started selling the luxury sports car.
Aston Martin began selling the hand-built car, equipped with a 4-liter V8 engine, to private customers over the past few days, and 80 percent of them have already bought it, Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer said in an interview Tuesday, a day before the company reported its fourth straight profitable quarter. The first deliveries are scheduled to arrive in the second quarter of 2018.
“Most of our production for next year is already sold out,” Palmer said. He declined to specify production volumes.
With the Vantage, Aston Martin is trying to expand from its current pool of buyers and compete with Porsche and Ferrari, he said at the launch event, held at a reclaimed brewery in London’s trendy Brick Lane.
“What we’ve tried to do with Vantage is make it aspirationally younger, cooler, better,” Palmer said, speaking over the thump of dance music set in an ersatz forest.
The car boasts more than 500 horsepower and can reach a maximum speed of 195 miles per hour. The company says its low-slung “predatory stance” was inspired by the Vulcan race car.
The Vantage is central to Aston Martin’s efforts to establish a record of profitability as it prepares for a potential initial public offering. The Gaydon, England-based carmaker showed progress on Wednesday when it reported pretax profit of 22 million pounds ($29 million) for the nine months ended Sept. 30. Sales, led by the DB11, were up 84 percent to 567 million pounds from a year earlier, when Aston Martin posted a loss.
While the company is doing well, “we don’t have 10 years of good results under our belt,” Palmer said. “So for us, we’ve got to hit every quarter hard.”
Aston Martin sold 3,330 cars in the first nine months of 2017, a rise of 65 percent, it said in a statement Wednesday.
Palmer said in June that an IPO would be more difficult amid the uncertainty brought on by Brexit. The company’s owners include Italian private equity company Investindustrial SpA and a Kuwaiti investment consortium, while Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG owns a small stake.