Aston Martin axes 500 jobs after sales slump due to coronavirus

The luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda plans to make 500 workers redundant as it looks to cut costs under new chief executive, Tobias Moers, because of the slump in sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company says it needs a smaller workforce because it is producing fewer cars than previously expected and due to improved productivity.

Aston Martin says it will begin consulting employees and trade unions within days.

It is also looking to cut costs in other areas, including contractor numbers, marketing and travel, as it battles its way back to profitability.

It expects the cost-cutting to save £28m , with the restructuring costing it £12m in 2020.

The company said it was still on track to deliver its first sports utility vehicle (SUV), the DBX, to customers in the summer, and says it has a strong order book for the vehicle, which is made at its factory at St Athan in south Wales.

The DBX is seen as key for Aston Martin to boost its sales and appeal to new customers.

UK car sales slump as 2,000 workers lose their jobs in Covid-19 crisis – business live

The jobs announcement comes just days after Aston Martin sacked its chief executive, Andy Palmer, as part of a wider board overhaul, replacing him with Moers, who will join on 1 August from Mercedes-AMG, where he is the boss of the German carmaker’s high-performance division.

The share price of the British company, known as the maker of James Bond’s favourite cars, has plunged since it floated on the stock market in October 2018.

It is down 62% so far this year, currently trading at about 63p, giving the company a market value of around £1.04bn, compared with £4bn when it floated.

The shares have traded higher since Palmer’s departure, but slid 8% on the news of the job cuts.

The company recently came close to going bust for the eighth time in its 107-year history. The coronavirus pandemic forced it to close 90% of its global dealerships, and in May it reported a loss of £119m for the first quarter of the year.

Lawrence Stroll, the billionaire who became the executive chair of Aston Martin after leading a £536m rescue deal in March, agreed in recent weeks to inject more than  £75m in short-term funding to enable the company to fight off a cash crunch.

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