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Aston Martin sales surge – but it won't make cars aimed at women

Aston DBX
Aston DBX

Female drivers are helping to power sales of Aston Martin's new flagship SUV, with one on in 10 of the cars bought by women as the luxury marque seeks to overhaul its brand.

Although such high levels of demand are unusual for a car type with a traditionally macho image, Aston bosses said they do not intend to launch a car specifically tailored for female motorists.

It came as the company posted interim results that revealed surging sales and narrowing losses, after appointing two high-profile women from fashion and luxury backgrounds to its board.

Tobias Moers, chief executive, said: “Our cars are all about the driving experience. I’m not sure we need bespoke cars for females. It’s not a good direction to take in my experience.”

Aston sold 2,901 vehicles in the six months to the end of June, more than treble the number a year earlier, while revenues jumped from £146m to £499m.

The DBX - its first SUV - accounted for more than half of all sales. Mr Moers said that “north of 10pc” of the cars are being driven by women.

Aston is still recovering from a Covid-induced sales collapse on top of existing challenges in the business following years of funding problems. It recorded a pre-tax loss of £91m, an improvement of the £227m lost a year earlier.

Mr Moers, who joined Aston last summer from Mercedes’ performance arm AMG, is helping drive a turnaround overseen by chairman Lawrence Stroll.

Mr Stroll, who made his fortune in the fashion industry, led a £500m rescue of Aston in early 2020 after its disastrous stock market flotation.

His Project Horizon turnaround aims to restore Aston’s fortunes by rebuilding its upmarket credentials and making it “one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world”.

Earlier this month he announced new directors to help burnish Aston’s credentials.

Dame Natalie Massanet, founder of luxury fashion website Net-a-Porter, and Marigay McKee, whose career included senior roles at cosmetics brand Estée Lauder, Harrods and US department store Saks Fifth Avenue, joined the car marker as a non-executive director.

Former Ferrari chief Amedeo Felisa has also joined Aston’s board.

Mr Moers said that the trio are involved in “intense creative discussions” about how their experience can be brought to bear on Aston, but would not be drawn on likely outcomes.

Aston is clearing out stock levels which previously meant that it had to offer discounts to sell cars, with just 800 vehicles now in its inventory compared with 3,000 in last year.

Aston stopped building cars “on spec” last year and now only makes them to order to maintain their exclusivity.

This has helped lift the average selling price of a car from £121,000 last year to £150,000 now. No discounts are being offered on the DBX, Aston said.

Shares in Aston Martin rose 1pc to £19, valuing the company at £2.2bn.