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Aston Martin Celebrates Its Growth at Pebble Beach

The Auto Channel

2004 Aston Martin DB9

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The Aston Martin Celebration Weekend is inspired by the marque's multi-tiered growth: in terms of dealer body, sales and product offerings. Aston Martin is hosting some of their most loyal customers to a weekend of exclusive events, including a spectacular display on Peter Hay Hill of 30+ owner vehicles -- where about 30 of the 99 limited-edition DB AR1 roadsters produced will be gathered for all to see.

Aston Martin's global dealer network is set to increase by 20% over the next six months to support the serious growth plans the company has always maintained for its future.

Currently, Aston Martin has 105 dealers that will increase to 125 worldwide by year end and includes the appointment of new dealers in North America, Japan and in other emerging Asian markets.

Aston Martin has already announced the intention to produce 5000 cars per annum at its new Gaydon Headquarters by the end of 2005. This growth will be supported by an international retail network of 140 dealers in 32 countries.

Around 30% of Aston Martin's sportscars are sold in the UK, with similar figures in both North America and Europe. The remaining markets account for around 10%. However with the launch of 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.

In line with the international dealership expansion Aston Martin, in co-operation with London design company Imagination, is continuing to introduce its new Corporate Identity with every new dealer appointment as well as developing all existing sites.

"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 Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin.

The most recent dealership to incorporate the new corporate design is Aston Martin Dallas who retail solely Aston Martins. 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.

"Aston Martin is undertaking the biggest change in its 90-year history with a new headquarters, a new production facility and a new model range," added Dr Ulrich Bez. "If we are to increase our visibility and provide the levels of customer care which our owners deserve it is essential that we increase our worldwide representation and incorporate this Retail Design Programme."

The new Aston Martin facility at Gaydon, Warwickshire, officially opened last September and has the capacity to produce 5000 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. Aston Martin Racing has revealed further details of its all-new DBR9 that will spearhead the marque's return to international motor racing in 2005.

This new GT racing car, which is based on the latest Aston Martin production sports car, DB9, is being prepared by Aston Martin Racing's partners, Prodrive, based at Banbury, UK. Prodrive is responsible for the design, development and management of the DBR9 racing programme.

The first DBR9 is being prepared now and will compete during 2005 in selected international sports car events, including Le Mans 24 Hours. Three Aston Martin Racing Works teams will then be appointed to compete in major international sports cars series. These will be independent teams each racing two DBR9s with the full factory support of Aston Martin Racing.

Aston Martin Racing will also make a very limited number of DBR9 racing cars available to selected customers. These cars will be prepared to the same specification as the Works cars.

"The design of DB9 lends itself to be translated perfectly into the DBR9 race car," said Jeremy Main, Aston Martin's Director of Product Development & Motorsport. "While DBR9 has been planned for outright performance, every surface sculpture and design detail has been developed to the same high standards as our road cars."
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