Aston Martinâ€™s star is certainly on the rise with record sales being driven by quality product and in the case of the DBS an extraordinary five year waiting list. It should come as no surprise then that they have their sights firmly set on the emerging Asian markets, in-particular China and for the first time in Astonâ€™s 93-year company history, China will be home to an Aston Martin dealer network.
The Aston Martin franchise has been awarded to GruppeM, led by CEO Kenny Chen, who according to Aston has unparalleled experience of the luxury sports car market in China.
â€œAston Martin has been carefully monitoring the growth of the luxury sports car market in China, but it was vital that we found the right partner who not only understood Aston Martinâ€™s brand values but also the luxury market. We are confident that GruppeM have the expertise and knowledge to help us develop Aston Martin in China,â€ said Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO.
The first new showroom will be in Shanghaiâ€™s Xin Tian Di District, with an area designed to accommodate five cars. The Shanghai Aston Martin Retail Centre will be the countryâ€™s flagship dealer space. There will also be an exclusive Aston Martin service facility located close to Hongqiao airport.
In Beijing, a showroom for three cars will be located in the city's Central Business District, a fast-expanding area that contains some dramatic new architecture. The showroom will be accompanied by the Aston Martin Beijing Service Facility, located at the city's Goldenport race circuit.
Interestingly, Casino Royale, featuring the recently launched Aston Martin DBS, was the first James Bond film to be released throughout China, and awareness of the Aston Martin brand is correspondingly high.
Aston have also recently announced the launch of the Aston Martin Asia Cup (AMAC), the series starts in 2008 and will consist of 12 races throughout the Asia Pacific region including China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Each race will feature a grid of 18 Aston Martin Vantage N24s, a 4.3 litre race-developed evolution of the V8 Vantage which has been proven in endurance and sprint races in Europe and the Middle East.