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Aston Martin: Shares dive as firm slashes sales forecasts

The Aston Martin DB11 on display at the Annual Chicago Auto Show in February Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Aston Martin DB11 on display at the Annual Chicago Auto Show in February

Shares in Aston Martin have dived more than 20% after the luxury carmaker cut its sales forecasts for 2019.

The British firm blamed weaker demand across Europe after sales to dealers in the region fell by almost a fifth in the first half of the year.

It now expects to sell 6,300-6,500 cars to dealers this year - down from an earlier forecast of 7,100 to 7,300.

A "challenging external environment" had worsened, it said, as had "macro-economic uncertainties".

"We anticipate that this softness will continue for the remainder of the year and are planning prudently for 2020," it said.

Aston Martin is the latest car company to take a hit to its business from a slowdown in consumer confidence in Europe.

Car companies in the region are also struggling with concerns over the potential fallout from Brexit and tougher regulations on emissions.

Aston Martin said sales of its cars to dealerships had fallen 17% in the UK in the first half, year on year, and by 19% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It also said it had reined it its investment plans by £40m, despite a continued strong performance in the US and Asia.

The firm - which is famous for its association with the James Bond films - said it would now take "decisive action to manage inventory", with reports suggesting it was likely to scale back production.

Shares in the company are down by around 45% since it listed on the London Stock Exchange last October.

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