Aston Martin has launched legal action against a Swiss dealership network over alleged failures to hand over customer deposits for its £2.5 million Valkyrie hypercar, the company said.
Civil proceedings have been filed against Nebula Project, and the luxury car maker has asked Swiss prosecutors to consider a criminal investigation into the matter.
As a result of the saga, Aston Martin Lagonda said it expects to take a £15 million hit to profits this year as it tries to recoup the money.
Nebula Project signed an agreement with the company in 2016 to help finance the Valkyrie and handled some deposits from customers, which were used to fund development of the car.
The plan had been for Nebula to receive a commission on sales of the car, alongside Aston’s Valhalla and Vanquish models.
But the contract, which was signed at a time when the carmaker was struggling financially, has now been terminated following Aston’s allegations that Nebula failed to hand over the deposits.
The company said: “Both Aston Martin and its customers have been impacted by Nebula Project AG’s and its board members’ behaviour.
“Aston Martin is fully committed to supporting and working with those customers affected to ensure that they will still receive delivery of their Valkyrie programme vehicles as scheduled, prioritising customer relationships, despite the company not having received all the deposited funds.
“There are no other agreements like this in place and, going forward, the company will ensure that all deposits for special vehicles are received directly by Aston Martin, not through a third party.”
The company added that it is also scrapping dealership arrangements with AF Cars, a company operating in Switzerland and managed by the same board members as Nebula Project, after learning that vehicles have been sold in breach of terms of the dealership agreement.
Despite the latest setback, the company said it expects to achieve targets of 10,000 sales, with £2 billion in revenues and £500 million underlying pre-tax profits by 2025.
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