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Aston Martin Has a Lot Riding on Its New, $189,000 SUV

The company’s cars are missing sales targets, and the stock has lost more than 70% since its IPO in 2018.

Aston Martin DBX prototype in Sweden.

Aston Martin DBX prototype in Sweden.

Courtesy: Aston Martin

A year ago it looked like investors and supercar fans who’d missed out on Ferrari NV’s blockbuster initial public offering in 2015 might get a second chance with Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc. There was the rich British motoring heritage, aggressive performance, and Aston’s movie star allure as James Bond’s vehicle of choice. So what could possibly go wrong? Turns out, pretty much everything.

Aston Martin’s stock has lost more than three-fourths of its value since the IPO. Once-coveted Vantage, DBS, and DB11 Volante cars have piled up at dealerships. Management has issued several financial warnings and has been forced to raise additional funds to stabilize the business. And Aston shares, which made their debut in October 2018 in the first IPO of a British carmaker, have earned the dubious honor of being the worst-performing among the U.K.’s 350 biggest companies this year. “We’re not happy with the way the year has gone,” says Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer.