UK luxury car brand opens up huge store

By Todd Balazovic (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-01-25 11:07
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Luxury carmaker Aston Martin launched its flagship store in Beijing yesterday evening in a push to increase its presence in the premier Asian market.

The store, located at 66 Jinbao Street, Chaoyang District, is more than twice as big as Beijing's other two Aston Martin stores and is the largest in Asia Pacific. The 500 sq m showroom will display seven of the luxury vehicles each costing roughly 1.3 million yuan.

"(Beijing) is a representation of the history of China, of the life in China, and this is why we are here," CEO of Aston Martin, Ulrich Bez told METRO yesterday.

Despite the economic recession's impact on luxury good sales, Bez said Aston Martin continues to expand worldwide and the Asia market is one of the fastest growing.

"Whatever the situation is in the economy if you have a great product, you will be successful and if you have a bad product you will suffer," he said.

The decision to open the new store was heavily influenced by the upcoming Spring Festival celebrations, said Matthew Bennett, regional director for Aston Martin Asia-Pacific.

UK luxury car brand opens up huge store

Some markets come alive at different times of the year. This time of year is when Beijing is at its most lively, said Bennett.

Soon Beijing will be one of the largest markets and they wanted to be well represented here, he said.

"Not to be represented in the main capital of the premier Asian market, which is going to become the premier world market, would be a mistake," Bennett said.

In addition to the launch of the store, the company unveiled its latest model, Rapide, to the Asian market. A few deposits on the new vehicle were made at the event yesterday, Bennett said.

More than 80 Aston Martin vehicles were sold in China last year, he said, 50 percent of which were sold in Beijing stores.

"(Beijing) has a growing appreciation for luxury goods and an authenticity of a product, that's what we've been seeing," Bennet said.

"This is the place to be."