The Aston Martin DBX is pivotal for the UK automaker. As its first-ever SUV, the DBX needs to be a massive sales success otherwise, Aston Martin will sink into even further financial trouble. The good news, so far, is that the DBX is selling well, but deliveries won't get underway until the second half of this year. That means the firm's financial situation won't greatly improve until then. And just when the DBX is about to hit the roads, another factor is getting in the way: coronavirus. More specifically, China is a big market for the DBX and now Aston Martin is rightly concerned about the impact the epidemic will have on sales.
Speaking to Bloomberg News, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer stated that "China is an important region for us. The release into China is quite late in the year, so we hope and pray that the virus is done by then."
China also just so happens to be Aston's fastest-growing market. Although the company has long been known for its fast coupes and convertibles, the DBX will offer wealthy Chinese something they crave, only in an Aston Martin: to be chauffeured around. An SUV does this task much better than any sports car. The company's shares have experienced a downward spiral since 2018 due to a number of factors, among them Brexit and disappointing sales of the Vantage.
Last month, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll announced a major investment in Aston Martin, which will also make him executive chairman.
In addition, Stroll is planning a return to Formula 1 racing but has hit the brakes on the automaker's EV plans. For now, all eyes are on the DBX and, unfortunately, its launch could not have come at a worse time, especially in China. Because the virus continues to spread in that country, it's expected consumers are going to spend less in general.
Palmer's hope that the virus will be gone by summertime and things can get back to normal, at least at this time, doesn't seem like it's going to happen.