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USA and Japan will spearhead Aston Martin's charge

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ASTON MARTIN is undertaking the biggest change in its 90-year history.

It already has new headquarters and a new production facility at Gaydon Warwickshire, and now it plans to increase its global dealer network by 20% within 6-months.

Currently, it has 105 dealers. That is scheduled to increase to 125 worldwide by the end of this year. The expansion will be centred in North America, Japan and in other emerging Asian markets.

By the end of next year, however, when 5,000 cars pa will be emerging from Gaydon, the plan is to have a network of 140 dealers in place spread throughout 32 countries.

Aiming for 40% sales in N. America

Roughly, 30% of Aston Martin's sportscars are sold in the UK. North America and Europe. both take similar amounts. The remaining markets account for around 10%.

However with the launch of the DB9 in 2004 followed next year by the V8 Vantage, the smaller Aston Martin, the company is preparing for a different emphasis that will see around 40% of total sales being handled by 40 dealers across North America.

Hand-in-hand with the international dealership expansion will be the continued introduction of the maker's new corporate identity programme..

"The objective of the programme is to create a consistent customer experience which complements and enhances the premium nature of our cars whether in London, Paris, New York or Tokyo," said chief executive, Dr Ulrich Bez.

Most recent dealerships to receive this new corporate design are Grange of Welwyn in Hertfordshire, England, and Aston Martin Dallas in Texas, USA, which both retail solely Aston Martins.

'Card Club' lounges

The Grange of Welwyn dealership entailed the complete renovation of an existing timber framed building and has an elegant open plan layout including split level gallery space, marble floors and clubroom lounge areas for customers.

Aston Martin Dallas is a state of the art dealership which incorporates a four car showroom, full service centre, customer lounges and a private access card club lounge for customers to meet.
The new Aston Martin facility at Gaydon, Warwickshire, was officially opened last September and has the capacity to produce 5,000 cars a year. The DB9 Coupe is already in production and will be followed later this year by the DB9 Volante (convertible). In summer 2005 the new V8 Vantage will begin production.
 
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