Aston Martin is suing two Swiss car dealers who claim to have dealt more than £ 10 million in customer money that had been paid for their £ 2.5 million Valkyrie hypercar.
The luxury carmaker said on Tuesday that it had submitted documents with the Swiss criminal prosecutor requesting that it be investigated by board members of Nebula Project AG.
Aston will also take civil action against the Nebula Project, which has managed some customer deposits for the hypermarket. The car will earn a whopping £ 15 million in profits this year and reserve another undisclosed amount next year, it said in a statement.
The Valkyrie is an flagship product for Aston Martin, with a limited run of 150 models and 30 more for a track version that was designed to drive the company’s momentum into mid-engined models.
“Aston Martin is fully committed to supporting and working with those affected customers to ensure that they always receive delivery of their Valkyrie vehicles as planned,” the automaker added.
At least £ 10m of £ 15m success is from missing customers ’deposits. The remaining £ 5 million comes from an accounting provision due to changes in trade agreements after the group left the Aston Martin dealership run by the same directors in Switzerland. The company has four other dealers in the country.
The two directors of the activity are Andreas Baenziger and Florian Kamelger, according to the presentations and press releases on the project.
The couple helped Aston finance the Valkyrie in 2016 by offering to subscribe to the project and managing some Swiss customer deposits, which were used to fund the car’s development.
Instead, Nebula had to earn a commission from the sales of the Valkyrie model as well as two successive cars based on the same technology, the Valhalla and the Vanquish.
Because it has now canceled the deal, Aston believes it will avoid paying a reduction in sales to the Nebula, leaving the car financially better in the long run despite success in finance for the next two years.
“The financial impact of not having received all the funds deposited is borne by the benefit from the end of the Nebula agreement and the payments of potential associated rights,” Aston said.
The unusual funding model was put in place at a time when Aston was struggling financially and unable to invest in the vehicle, which claims to be the fastest and most expensive road car ever made.
While deposits paid to Nebula by hypermarket buyers were forwarded to Aston, Nebula executives also collected additional payments from some customers, which were not forwarded to the carmaker, the lawsuit alleges.
A number of Aston customers have joined the legal case, which was first reported by the Financial Times overnight. The car says it will abide by the sales agreements. Deliveries of the car are expected to begin in September and arrive next year.
The episode is an embarrassment for businesses at the moment as it seeks to regain investor confidence under Lawrence Stroll’s new management.
The Canadian billionaire brought in a saving of £ 540 million last year and is now in its chair, pushing back its electric cars and focusing on Valkyrie-based mid-engined supercars to drive Ferrari customers away.
Sales of the Valkyrie were scheduled to begin in 2020, but were delayed until later this year after the pandemic affected product tests.
The Valhalla supercar, which is based on the Valkyrie, will also appear in the upcoming James Bond movie No Time To Die.
Nebula directors have been contacted for comment.