LONDON -- Aston Martin has written off 19 million pounds ($24 million) after the sale of the tooling and design drawings of the automaker's Vanquish sports car fell through.
The automaker mentioned the sale in its initial public offering prospectus last year ahead of the company's flotation on the UK stock market, leading to speculation about who was the buyer.
The 20-million-pound sale included 18 months' worth of support from Aston Martin Consulting and was registered as income in Aston Martin's second quarter 2018 accounts.
The buyer was never named, although a source close to the company told Automotive News Europe in March that they were based in China.
"The commercial position on this contract has deteriorated with significant doubt remaining over the outstanding receivable," Aston Martin said in a statement, without naming the Vanquish.
An Aston Martin spokesman confirmed that the contract was for the sale of "legacy IP (intellectual property)."
The Vanquish was a high-performance V-12 coupe and convertible with carbon-fiber bodywork first launched in 2012. It was replaced last year with the DBS Superleggera.
The loss of the income adds to Aston Martin's woes after it was forced to downgrade its predictions for the number of deliveries to dealers in 2019 from 7,100 to 6,300. The company blamed a deepening auto industry slump in Europe.
Since the initial public offering in October at 19 pounds a share, the stock has more than halved.
Aston Martin said it was taking "immediate actions" to improve its efficiency and reduce the cost base.
The future fortunes of the company will hang on the successful launch of the DBX into the growing ultraluxury SUV market.
Aston Martin will start taking orders for the car at the Pebble Beach event held in California in August, with start of production in the second quarter of 2020.