Aston Martin targets return to profitability in 2018

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer peers down the lines of a display model of a AM-RB 001 ahead of the 2017 Canadian International Autoshow. (Reuters)Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer peers down the lines of a display model of a AM-RB 001 ahead of the 2017 Canadian… Read More
TORONTO: Aston MartinHoldings Ltd expects a return to profitability in 2018, as the now money-losing luxury automaker plans to boost revenues with renewed versions of its sports cars, chief executive Andy Palmer said on Wednesday.

The British automaker, whose sports cars were popularized by James Bond films, is investing heavily to update existing models and develop several new vehicles through the end of 2019, including its first SUV, and the 2 million pound ($2.5 million) to 3 million pound ($3.7 million) Formula 1-inspired AM-RB 001, the most expensive new car ever built by Aston Martin.

“You’ve got a complete renewal during the course of 2018 of the sports cars,” Palmer told Reuters on the sidelines of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

Unlike other luxury sports car brands, which are part of mass-volume auto groups and can benefit from economies of scale,

Aston Martin remains independent, Palmer said.

“We have to amortize the R&D (costs) on a small volume,” he said. “That’s what justifies the car being expensive.”

The carbon fiber AM-RB 001, which is being developed with Red Bull Advanced Technologies for expected delivery in 2019, is using Canadian composite specialist Multimatic as a supplier, Palmer said. All 150 cars have been sold, with another 25 to be manufactured as a separate variant for the track.

Palmer said one of Aston Martin’s highest volume models will be its DBX SUV, which when delivered in late 2019 would compete with the Bentayga produced by Bentley Motors Ltd, a division of the Volkswagen Auto Group.

Pickups and SUVs accounted for 59.5 per cent of U.S. auto sales in 2016, up from 55.8 per cent in 2015, and North American appetite has prompted luxury makers such as Rolls Royce and Lamborghini to come out with new SUV models.

Palmer said Aston Martin expects to build between 4,000 to 5,000 SUVs a year.

“We don’t want to go to big volume,” he said. “It’s basically high price, low volume, exclusivity.”

Aston Martin, which is to publish its 2016 financial figures at the end of February, is held by Kuwait’s Tejara and Italy’s Investindustrial. The private equity firms hold an equal voting stake, he said.

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Daimler has a 5 per cent stake in Aston Martin in return for access to certain technologies for connected and autonomous cars

source”cnbc”

This week in games: Overwatch gets a server browser, Project Cars 2 targets 12K and more

Project Cars 2

More Kickstarter news this week. Can you believe it? Last week I joked about a renaissance but now I’m pretty sure it’s actually happening.

That, plus Overwatch gets a server browser, South Park delays a second time, a bevy of launch trailers and announcement trailers and trailer trailers, and Project Cars 2 talks about supporting 12K resolutions. Mmmm, that’s a lot of pixels.

This is gaming news for February 6 through 10.

St2sis

Another chance for me to talk about Stasis? Excellent. If you don’t know, Stasis is the best horror game you (probably) didn’t play in 2015. An isometric horror game in the vein of the classic Sanitarium, Stasis is some excellent derelict space ship sci-fi.

And now the developers are working on a follow-up, titled Beautiful Desolation. Like PC Gamer, I apparently missed word on this in January, but there’s a Kickstarter campaign and everything. I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I am a huge fan of the art on display so far, and fervently hope it reaches its funding goal.

Tormented Bards

Let’s keep on the crowdfunding theme for a second and talk about inXile. The studio released details on both the upcomingTorment: Tides of Numenera and the slightly-less-upcoming Bard’s Tale IV this week, with a look at Torment’s story and Bard’s Tale’s combat. Here’s Torment:

And Bard’s Tale:

Finish the fight

Halo Wars 2 launches next week, at least for Ultimate Edition buyers. Will it be good? No idea, but it sure does have some beautiful cinematics.

Live to serve

It’s not the sexiest update, but Overwatch is getting a server browser to complement its bevy of matchmaking systems. Want to play a custom game with friends? You can finally—nine months after release—do so.

Project C2RS

I’d sort-of forgotten that Slightly Mad Studios has been working on Project Cars 2. Hard to forget, given the stink people made when the sequel was originally announced, coming as it did mere months after the release of the original. But regardless, I’d forgotten.

There’s video now though—gorgeous video. Also, support for 12K resolutions (12K!) and more. Time to upgrade your graphics card, sim racers.

More-za

Speaking of racing games…well, actually no. The big news this week is that Playground Games, developer of the beloved Forza Horizon series, is working on a new game—and it’s not a racing game. According to GamesIndustry.biz , Playground is opening a second studio and branching out into a new genre, in addition to (presumably) the 2018 Forza Horizon game.

If this mythical second project ends up even half as good as Forza Horizon, we’re in for a treat.

South Park: Still Not Whole

Bad news, South Park fans: Latest game The Fractured But Whole has been delayed yet again, this time to a rather ambiguous “sometime this year.” That’s the second delay for the superhero-themed sequel, which was originally supposed to arrive in December and then was pushed to early 2017. Now? Well, we’ll see.

Cue the Miyamoto quote about a bad game being bad forever, and et cetera.

Siege lifted

Ubisoft’s doing just okay with-or-without South Park though, I imagine. Case in point: Rainbow Six Siege is still humming along, still 2015’s best shooter, and just about to start its second season of DLC characters and maps. You’ll get four minutes of that below, with a look at the new “Velvet Shell” operators and Coastline map.

Oh, and Ubisoft also brought back the Rainbow Six Siege Starter Edition. For $15 you get the game and access to four operators, with a whole lot of grinding if you want to unlock the rest—or you try it, enjoy it, and buy the full game (maybe when it goes on sale?) to continue as normal. Your call.

Wild

Okay, more Ubisoft news. Ghost Recon: Wildlands is set to release in March. Ubisoft’s continued its tradition of “Silly Live-Action Trailers” for this one—except this time they’ve made a whole live-action movie. There’s a teaser below. Go microwave some popcorn. I’ll wait.

source”cnbc”