Typically, if a car company reports a profit, it's not that big of a deal. When
posts a record profit, that's a different thing altogether. Aston is a company that has historically struggled to make enough money to keep itself afloat, but on Monday it announced a pretax profit of $122 million, which is nothing to sneer at (even if it's a cool British sneer, like Maggie Smith would do on "Downton Abbey").
This fat profit is even more notable when you consider that it's the first time the company has reported year-end earnings in the black since 2010. That's wild if you think about it. Most businesses couldn't survive that long of a dry spell -- having the backing of James Bond helps, I guess.
All of this sweet, filthy lucre showing up on the balance sheet now is doubly effective because the word round the playground is that Aston Martin is considering going public, and an IPO for a company that is making money is almost certainly going to be better than for one that's in the weeds.
Where did all this success come from, you ask? Part of Aston's problem was that because of low sales, it couldn't afford to refresh and redesign its product line, which is why we got a geological age of variations on the DB9 theme (not that from an aesthetic standpoint that car ever looked old).
Thankfully, new investors and a partnership with those loons down in Affalterbach, AMG, allowed the company to retool for the DB11, which has been selling rather well. So well, in fact, that Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer expects the factory to run out of production capacity this year. That's what people call a "good problem."
When you add in the Vulcan halo car, the new-old production DB4 heritage car and the forthcoming RapidE electric vehicle, Aston Martin no longer looks like a company on the ropes. Indeed, it seems like it's thriving, which should make everyone happy. The world could always use more beautiful and exciting objects to lust after, right?