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Source: Shanghai Daily
ASTON Martin, the British iconic car maker made famous by suave British secret agent James Bond in his movies, yesterday drove into China’s rapidly growing luxury sports car market when it opened its first showroom in Shanghai.

The Shanghai Aston Martin Retail Center, franchised by GruppeM and located in Xintiandi, extends Aston Martin’s global dealership network into China for the first time in the company’s 94-year history.

The country’s flagship store boasts a double-deck exhibition space which is designed to hold five sleek models including the DB9 Volante, DB9 coupe and V8 Vantage. These models went on sale yesterday with prices costing between two million yuan (US$270,270) and three million yuan each. Aston Martin will also build an exclusive service facility close to Hongqiao airport in Shanghai. Its second showroom in China will soon open in Beijing early next month.

"China is one of the fastest growing markets which Aston Martin has not previously made a presence," said Ulrich Bez, chief executive officer of Aston Martin. "We are a global company and we have to be not only in Shanghai but in other major cities in China."

Aston Martin follows Spiker and Ferrari into the Chinese market where an economic boom helps to multiply a growing number of affluent Chinese who are fueling the demand for luxury sports cars. Aiming to tap the huge market potential, Aston Martin will bring 50 cars into the Chinese market before February 2008 and over the course of next year more than 150 units will be brought to meet demand, according to a sales person yesterday.

Aston Martin, which will also hold its Asia Cup races in China next year, aims to sell 7,300 cars this year through an existing 120 dealers in 28 countries globally. Japan is now its biggest market in Asia.
Another new make in China. China's importance in worldwide auto industry is clearly growing.
 
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