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Aston Martin turns its eye toward popular SUV segment with latest model

By Zhang Dandan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-25 10:29
Aston Martin's first SUV, the DBX, is launched on Friday at the Guangzhou auto show. [Photo by Li Fusheng/China Daily]

British carmaker Aston Martin unveiled its first SUV, the DBX, on Wednesday in Beijing, also marking the company's first global car premiere outside of Europe in 106 years. The new model was launched two days later at the Guangzhou auto show which runs until Dec 1.

"The Chinese market is by far the most open-minded market in the world, still discovering the value of different brands. And therefore, for the SUV, we think it as the most important market," said Andy Palmer, president and CEO of Aston Martin.

"Our commitment to China is absolute," said Palmer, adding that the DBX was created with Chinese customers' preferences in mind.

Without defining itself as a sports car maker, Aston Martin said that it is a company that tries to make the most beautiful cars, and its choice of making an SUV is due to SUVs being the most popular body type worldwide.

"It (the DBX) is a pretty car. One would hope that we find ways of reaching young and old. This car has been very much designed for global appeal.

"I'm hopeful that we'll reach the traditionalists who probably come from a sports car, but probably more like 70 percent of the clients will be new to the brand," Palmer said.

When it comes to its development in the Chinese market, the CEO said, "We want to grow in China, but we're not looking to sell hundreds of thousands of cars."

The new SUV is the result of five years of effort from Aston Martin.

"We have basically built our infrastructure in China over the last five years on the basis of there's an SUV coming," Palmer said.

The company is expected to have some 30 showrooms in China by the end of 2021.

"Each one of those (showrooms that have been built) have been specified in a way that basically assumes that we can show off our DBX model," Palmer noted.

According to the carmaker, next month in Wuhan, Hubei province, it will unveil a brand-new showroom, as part of its efforts to fulfill its commitments to Chinese customers.

"I think we fulfilled every promise that we made when we came here. When we promise something, we always achieve it," Palmer said.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin has stepped up its efforts to solidify its collaboration with Chinese companies and universities.

The brand's cooperation with Shanghai's Tongji University has provided Aston Martin with new designs and concepts that have been fed directly into its showrooms.

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