Sales slide at Warwickshire car maker Aston Martin

Warwickshire car maker Aston Martin has seen its sales slide and losses increase as the coronavirus crisis continues to take its toll on the automotive industry.

The company’s half-year results for the six months to July 2020 reveal it sold 1,770 cars, compared with 2,996 in the same period in 2019.

That represents a decrease of 41 per cent for the Gaydon-based company.

Pre-tax losses increased from £80 million in 2019 to £227.4 million while overall revenue dropped 64 per cent year on year to £146 million from £406 million.

The announcement is the second set of financial figures unveiled since Lawrence Stroll became executive chairman of Aston Martin in April.

Lockdown has been a tumultuous period for the car maker with the departure of former boss Andy Palmer.

He is to be replaced by new chief executive Tobias Moers, who will join the business in August.

Results are expected to be better in the next quarterly update in the autumn as many Aston Martin dealerships have now reopened.

In China, where Aston Martin restarted sales in June, retail sales were up 11 per cent – an “encouraging” sign, according to the stock exchange statement.

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It has been a challenging six months for Aston Martin, which was forced to raise £688 million from a consortium of shareholders led by Mr Stroll.

The car maker has high hopes of getting back on track with its new DBX SUV.

It is Aston Martin’s first SUV and is being built at a new factory in St Athan, South Wales.

Mr Stroll said: “Obviously, it has been a challenging period with our dealers and factories closed due to Covid-19, in addition to aligning our sales with inventory with the associated impact on financial performance as we reposition for future success. »

He added: “However, I have been most impressed that, through this most challenging of times, we have been able to reduce our dealers’ sports car inventory by 869 units.”

Meanwhile, the business said that an accounting method error in the US had forced it to recalculate some of its figures from last year.

It meant a reduction of £15.3 million in earnings before interest and tax in 2019.