Aston Martin announces £600m Chinese expansion plan

Aston Martin has revealed plans for a five-year trade and investment drive in China worth more than £600m as the company looks to expand its presence in the world’s largest automotive market.

The five-year plan, which follows the company’s announcement of a new dealership in Wuhan, was heralded by Aston Martin president and CEO, Andy Palmer during a visit to China by a UK business delegation headed by Theresa May.

The export and investment drive follows a regional year on year growth rate for the sports car manufacturer of 89%, propelled by the successful introduction of the DB11.

Speaking in Beijing, Dr Palmer said: “Our impressive 2017 performance in China reflects increasing demand for our new and special vehicles.

“The continued roll-out of our new model pipeline, including the company’s first electric vehicle in 2019, will further improve Aston Martin’s market share in this key market, alongside investments we are making to strengthen brand visibility and sales performance.

“These investments reflect our confidence in the Aston Martin brand and the attractiveness of the Chinese market which was our fastest growing region in 2017.”

Future demand in China is expected to be enhanced this year by deliveries of the new Vantage and in 2019, along with the introduction of the company’s first SUV.

The Warwickshire-based company has also announced a dealer investment and expansion programme in the Chinese market totalling over £20m, to include a new concept city centre showroom in Beijing.

By the end of 2018, Aston Martin will have strengthened its dealer network with 10 new and refurbished locations, to include showrooms in Wuhan, Tianjin, Nanjing and Ji’nan, taking the total retail footprint across China to more than 20 locations.

Aston Martin China, located in Shanghai, is further strengthening its presence in the region by opening a second office in Beijing in the coming months.

Mrs May said: “Thanks to the drive and innovation of UK business, backed by this Government, trade between the UK and China is already at record levels.

“This visit is an opportunity to further showcase the best of British and boost jobs and prosperity throughout the UK. I am proud to lead such a varied and strong delegation to China.”

The new Wuhan dealership will open later this year.

The 500m2 two-floor showroom will house a selection of the firm’s product range and make use of a new, full function service workshop.

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei Province in Central China, a region that is enjoying strong economic growth.

Dr Palmer, said: “Since opening our first dealership here in 2011, Aston Martin has made good progress in China. This will become an important market for our new SUV, the Aston Martin DBX, when it goes into production next year. I’m delighted with the location of the new Wuhan dealership in the heart of the city’s central business district and I look forward to coming back in the autumn for the grand opening.”