Supercar Market Insights & Analysis – Aston Martin

Last week I posted up an article on the Supercar Market, the macro situation and covered a number of different models (Supercar Market Update Jan 2023).  One request coming out of that article was for a point of view on the Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and Porsche RS market.  As I know absolutely nothing about the Lamborghini market, and only slightly more on the Porsche RS market, I thought it best to try and concentrate on the Aston Martins.  To be very transparent, it is not a market that I have been tracking long term, but I have at least written the occasional article on Aston Martin so have a little bit of insight on the brand.

The Twenty First Century V12 Flagships

V12 Vanquish & Vanquish S

The 2001-2007 V12 Vanquish & Vanquish S were the last of the handmade Aston Martin’s to come out of the Newport Pagnell manufacturing site.  Personally, I think it’s the most elegant car Aston Martin has ever produced.  A year ago, you could pick up an early Vanquish for $60-80k depending on spec and mileage.  Today the same car would run about $10k less.  The later Vanquish S are $70-90k cars today with low mileage “S” (under 10k) running about $20k more.  I would expect another across the board drop of around $10k in the coming 12-18 months.  Autotrader currently has 9 listed for sale and about 3 a month show up on Bring A Trailer so are always a few to choose from.

 

There is no other 21st century bespoke V12 close to this in price.  I wouldn’t pay a huge premium for a low mileage example.  Better to put the savings into a few sessions with a therapist so you can work through the trauma of just how bad the first generation automated manual transmission is.  Aston Martin did convert a few of the V12 Vanquish’s to a 6 speed manual for a very modest $25k.  A good friend did own one of these conversions.  He wasn’t a fan and it ended up being replaced by a Ferrari 599 GTB.

 

DBS 2008-2012

With the 2008 DBS, production moved to Gaydon and the same VH platform that the DB9 utilized was adopted.  Unlike the Vanquish, a six-speed manual was standard with the automatic six-speed ‘Touchtronic 2’ gearbox as an option. Both coupe and convertible (Volante) versions were sold during the production run. Today automatic Volante’s and automatic Coupes sit at the bottom of the DBS food chain with both starting at around $80k.  Manuals tend to bring a $40-60k premium over the automatic versions.  What is interesting is Volante’s don’t seem to command any premium over the Coupes. DBS’s have enjoyed a bit of a run up in values over the last several years and I would expect they will retreat to pre-Covid valuations in the coming years with the floor being around $70k.  The market for the DBS is a bit tighter, Autotrader has 15 listed for sale plus an additional 10 on Aston Martin Preowned USA.  You get about one a month showing up on Bring A Trailer. 

2nd generation Vanquish 2012-2018

The 2nd generation 2012-2018 Vanquish was basically an evolution of the DBS with both built of the same basic platform with a few styling cues swiped off the One-77.  The Gen 2 Vanquish was only sold with an automatic gearbox.  Early models came with a 6 speed autobox with later (2014-2018) switching to an 8 speed ZF automatic.  Today you can find higher mileage coupes for around $100k with Volante’s starting at $125k with late models of both hitting $200k.  Mileage and spec seem to have a major impact on valuations.  The late model Vanquish’s are still depreciating and I would expect that they will eventually settle down at a similar price range as the DBS.  With 46 listed for sale on Autotrader plus an additional 10 on Aston Martin Preowned USA right now, it is a buyer’s market.

Of the 21st Century V12 Flagships, my choice would be the manual DBS Volante.  I prefer the lines of the DBS vs. the later Vanquish and it is just a much better car to drive vs. the earlier V12 Vanquish.  Should manual DBS Volante’s get back down in the $100-120k range, it would be very tempting.

One-77

The One-77 was Aston Martin’s first Hypercar.  A total of 77 were built between 2009-2012 and sold for $1.9 million each.  Aston Martin had a very difficult time selling out the production run and there were 11 build slots still available in late 2011.  I do remember being approached on at least 3 different occasions. In the last 3 years, 4 have come up for sale at auction with 3 of the 4 being hammer down at prices ranging from $1.3 mil. to $1.64 mil.  If the One-77 wasn’t able to leap over its original list price during the great price run up in the last 8 years, it is very unlikely it will do so anytime soon.

DB9

Aston Martin produced over 16,000 DB9’s during its 2004-2016 production run so there is no shortage of DB9s on the market.  The DB9 was the first Aston Martin built off of the aluminum VH platform which served as the base for all Aston Martins for over a decade.  The VH platformed doubled the rigidity and cut weight by 25% vs. the prior model.  The V12 in the front nose was lifted out of the Vanquish and produced 450 bhp when the car was launched.

The last dozen DB9s to sell on Bring A Trailer have ranged from a low of $38k to a high of $82k.  Autotrader has 64 DB9s listed ranging from $36k to a very optimistic $130k.  Most DB9s were fitted with a 6 speed Touchtronic automatic gearbox but a 6-speed manual was also an option and does command a 15-20% premium today.  If you can find a manual, I do believe the premium is worth it.  DB9s were offered as both Coupes and Volante (convertible) versions.  Neither seems to command much of a premium vs. the other.  Early DB9s are famous for having electrical issues but these should have been sorted long ago.  As V12 GTs go, the DB9 is probably the best value on the market today, especially when you consider that you can pick up a nicely spec’ed V12 powered DB9 for about the same price as a 4 cylinder Lotus Elise.

Classic Aston Martins

DB4, DB5 & DB6

If you look at the longer-term trends on the main 60’s Aston Martin models, the direction does seem clear.  Looking at the last 3-4 examples of each of the 3 models that has gone across the auction block, in almost no cases has the lower reserve been reached.  Even for those that are noted as sold.  DB6 coupes, which soared up into the $500k range have crashed back down to earth with the last two sales being in the $140k-150k range.  The higher powered DB6 Vantage still seem to command a 50%-100% premium over the base DB6 depending on condition.  It is the DB6 Volante’s that now sit in the $500-$600k range, down from close to $1 mil. back in 2019.  DB5s look to be $400k-$550k depending on condition and spec.  This is down from $700-$850k for a similar car a few years back.  Its DB4s have seemed to be a bit more stable over the long run.   A rare DB4 with James Bond ties or one of the 70 Volantes (out of 1,100 DB4s built) would bring a $1 mil. price tag today but the average DB4 is a $200k-350k car now, down only around $50k-100k in the last 12 months.  The trend is pretty clear, and I doubt we will be seeing the bottom anytime soon. Demographic shifts will continue to put pressure on the older cars with the less valuable taking the biggest percentage hits.  Vintage Aston Martins are cars that take real skill to drive well and are a bit of an acquired taste as light and nimble are not words normally used to describe a DB6.  Condition on all is a huge driver of value as restoration costs on all are eyewatering.  In addition, 20 years ago, they were not considered high value cars and a lot of them were put away wet and were not well maintained. 

DBX

The only current model included here is the DBX.  DBX sales started in 2021 with a base list price of $177k.  Today those early DBX’s are $130k cars.  Autotrader currently has 134 used DBX listed for sale and there are 65 on Aston Martin Preowned USA.  The Aston Martin USA website doesn’t list new cars for sale as in theory there aren’t any as per Lawrence Stroll’s multiple statements that Aston Martin now only manufacturers vehicles to order. However, doing a quick check of a few of the larger Aston Martin dealerships in the US.  The Washington DC dealership has 5 new DBX’s for sale, Greenwich, CT also has 5, Chicago has 6 and Beverly Hills has 16.  That would seem to be a lot of new cars that in theory are only being built to order.  I expect we will get a bit more insight on this when AML releases their 2022 results in a bit over a month.  With a market that’s headed south fast and a very saturated market, I would not be surprised if early DBXs dipped below the $100k mark in the next 1-2 years. 

Summary

As of January 2023, we have a sport & supercar market that is slowly deflating.  Inventories are way up.  Interest rates have spiked, and the housing market, which made a lot of buyers feel much richer than they should have, is tanking in many areas. The bill from the excess of the last decade has come due.  Recent Aston Martin’s are not immune to any of these factors and if anything, are more vulnerable that their Italian competitors.  The older vintage DB4-6s are clearly in decline and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future.  To end on a positive note though, if you have the cash and the patience the next couple of years could be a great time to buy.

 

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January 2023

 

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12 Thoughts on Supercar Market Insights & Analysis – Aston Martin
    John
    26 Jan 2023
     1:30am

    A bit of a random reply on the state in the UK…

    Vanquish – Still the most beautiful car ever produced and we can thank Ian Callum for this. There seems to be a huge disparity between standard and S models, with the earlier ones starting from £50k now, a drop of £10-30k over the last few years. S models now start from £80k, few years these would have been £130k. They seem to have gone through a rollercoaster in pricing over that time, dip, rise and dip again.

    DB7 prices have dropped to as low as £15k for the i6, or £18k for the Vantage with the V12. This is the car that Callum designed, his first for Aston. Good ones and the GT(A) versions still go for a premium, but that is now much less at ~£50k. Zagato versions still look for crazy money, but where they were asking ever increasing prices where I recall £400k being asked, now start at £240k – still too much for Zagato.

    DB9 is £18k upwards, but it looks that about £30k will get you a good one. There’s a Bond edition that does command a premium, £130k at the moment, but this Callum / Fisker design is a good GT option. The price for a reasonable DB9 seems to be fairly stable, from what I’ve seen.

    Vantage V8, another car started by Callum and finished by Fisker. Starting in the low £20ks now, but I’d opt for a 2007 model and onwards as the seats were improved. Good selection in the £30ks.

    DBS is the start of the dark era for Aston Martin, but because Reichman is standing on someone else’s toes, thankfully he wasn’t able to ruin it. Manuals are harder to find, automatics start at £61k, £20k less than a manual.

    One-77 is so rare I can’t say. There is currently one listed, £1,750,000. Start of a bad direction in styling for Aston Martin as Reichman proves his talents lie elsewhere. I’d say it’s far too much for this car.

    Vanquish 2, where Aston looses the beauty with a Reichman design that’s incoherent and disjointed. Prices start at £62k, a Zagato version they’re asking up to £730k, which is far too much. I’m sure those were £800k to £1M recently too. Likewise the standard model peaks at £189k and that too is too much. Really surprised prices have held as few seem to discuss or praise this model; it’s the hidden supercar.

    DB11, starts from £75k. They dropped below £100k very quickly after launch, I’m surprised they haven’t fallen further.

    Vantage, by Reichman, starts in the upper £80ks. Very quickly after launch you could get them at this price, seems they’ve held up. There’s over 100 of them on sale in the UK and the last of the Callum Vantage V8 holds up as well as the first of the new Reichman ones – for lower initial price.

    DBX. A Reichman design that seems to have gone through all the pre-sales and didn’t have anything left to build so a more powerful version was hurried out, the 707. £125k will get you a two year old model with less than 20,000 miles on the clock. 707 version seems to have dealers trying to see if they can get £228k out of customers, which I doubt will happen in most cases. 72 DBXs to choose from.

    Aston bet the farm on the DBX and if it were beautifully implemented it would have been a roaring success, taking sales away from the upper end of Range Rover, stealing off Bentley, and Porsche too. All the reviews say the engineering is excellent, so it comes down to looks and styling, which is where Reichman has let Aston down once again. His designs don’t sell enough to keep Aston afloat, and letting him design the 2023 updates is to lock in disappointing sales.

    That then begs the question – what form will the 2023 rescue package take?

    One thing of note is the V12 that was derived from Ford’s engine data does seem strong as there’s a lot of cars with over £50k miles on their clocks of all models. Especially so with the DB9. It’s great to see cars that their owners have obviously enjoyed.

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    Ian Glen
    26 Jan 2023
     3:19am

    Perfect summary, I have had a DB9…okay car…V12 Vantage….great hot Rod and a Vanquish Zagato, lost money on them all ….should have kept the V12…I loved the brand and the experience…but feel the brand value is diminishing fast thanks to poor understanding of what made it a great Brand…Aston never made the best cars but they just had style…

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    Steve Hewett
    26 Jan 2023
     12:56pm

    Interesting reading SSO.

    Your comment “With a market that’s headed south fast and a very saturated market, I would not be surprised if early DBXs dipped below the $100k mark in the next 1-2 years”

    I think will happen for definite, they are lovely cars but are way too expensive.

    Jaguar have F-PACE SVR Edition 1988 exists as a run of just 394 — and that looks a better car, and a lot cheaper from £101,550. Excellent review by Harry of EVO fame https://youtu.be/gD-k0ApuOnc

    You’ve not commented on the V8 Vantage which l think looks great, made from 2005 to 2016 , started off with a 4.3 moved onto 4.7 manual plus the automated manual.

    The latest Vantage and DB11 are way too big, length and width with styling not suited to an Aston .

    As ever personal opinion. 👍

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    Nicholas Mee.
    26 Jan 2023
     2:59pm

    Interesting commentary with some foundation, albeit I suspect populated with auction data, which doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole picture. I actually disagree with the general downbeat feel, based on our experience of dealing in the top end of the Aston Martin market. Sales of cars which are both rare and of high quality, in both New Era and Classic classes, have over the last year been relatively buoyant, prices consistent and in some instances elevated, perhaps because the seasoned and knowledgable buyer understands refurbishment and restoration costs are never inexpensive in this marque and auction prices achieved are in the main, for cars that are not of dealer quality, either requiring major works or in many cases, either lacking any or havin, spurious histories.
    Whilst the Aston Martin company has been through some turmoil in recent years, as well chronicled by your self, the brand itself with a 110 year history remains strong and will survive irrespective of private investors. It remains a draw for major manufacturers, it’s just a question of at what price. All said we are begging to see the green shoots of stabilisation and interesting products in the pipeline.
    In our 30 year experience, the legacy cars are as sought after as ever and gaining more traction in the market, from a low point over the last 3 years, precipitated by Covid and the Ukraine conflict, with Brexit a factor in the U.K. market. The advent of electric cars also being a key driver in upsetting equilibrium, we think temporarily.
    In our experience and from customer feedback, the desire to own a powerful petrol engined car, with stylish and purposeful looks, dynamic performance and giving a unique sensation of noise, feel and even smell, is as strong as ever and availability of this type of ownership experienceis diminishing over time, due to multiple factors.
    Certainly, your commentary is interesting, but perhaps relying too much on auction data and the varied and problematic issues relating to the manufacturer, many of which relate to a high number of niche manufacturers currently. Electrification is coming and the ‘car park’ of petrol cars diminishing, markets go up and down,as with all investments. In the long term the owners of classic, modern classic and supercars, will see the benefit of their investments, as older investors have, over the last 40 + years. Aston Martin and other sports cars, having been one of the more consistent and best performers, for mid to long term investors,in that period.
    Thanks for reading and keep up the good work.

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    Peter Haynes
    26 Jan 2023
     3:01pm

    Very nice piece, as ever. A couple of random thoughts:
    First, you missed what I consider to be one of the few recent AM “supercars” worthy of the tag and also priced reasonably: the previous-generation Vantage V12S. I drove one when I was running a 991.2 GT3, and frankly was tempted to ditch the latter. The V12S was a hoot to drive, albeit something of a handful on bad roads (but then so was the GT3), but in many ways that made it more fun, particularly as it felt a whole lot faster than it actually was. And then there was the noise… my neighbors would have loved it too, I’m sure. I chickened out because of well-publicized mechanical issues, but still regret the decision. Hell, even the transmission… worked.
    Second, what should also worry AM right now is the number of DBXs that are bouncing back *fast* to dealers. The local Washington DC AM dealer currently lists 14 used DBXs, most of them on the lot for months and vastly overpriced at $160-190k+. I wouldn’t touch one at $120k, which is what a similar-vintage Cayenne Turbo would cost. Although come to think of it, I wouldn’t touch one regardless, LOL. (In fairness, at least a couple of the DC DBXs appear to be 2022 leftovers, but even the truly used rarely hit 10k miles before being returned to sender.)

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    kompot
    29 Jan 2023
     4:07pm

    Hey SSO, great read as always.
    I was hoping you’d comment on the Rapide – where they’re going, whats your expected bottom and when.
    Many thanks

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