With the robust demand in China, British manufacturer of luxury vehicles -- Aston Martin -- could have one-fourth of its worldwide sales from Asia within two years, almost double the current share, the company's director for the region, Matthew Bennett, revealed. Three years ago, the company officially entered the Chinese market, which has already become the largest and fastest emerging market in Asia.
In 2010, the company delivered 110 units in the country. The year-to-date tally is double and could achieve 500 units in 2012, according to Bennett, adding that they will see China and the Asia Pacific as a whole to be "really on a par with the other big three markets" in 18 months. Currently, Asia comprises 12 percent to 15 percent of the company's worldwide sales, Bennett disclosed.
Top global brands such as BMW AG's Rolls-Royce and Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz have racked up remarkable sales in the country where growing ranks of rich consumers are boosting sales of luxury items like Rolex watches and Gucci handbags. To broaden its customer base in China, Aston Martin is introducing the V12 Zagato at around 9 million yuan or 1.06 million euros, including import tariffs of greater than 100 percent.
The V12 Zagato premiered at the auto show in Frankfurt. Many of the company's famous models like the V8 Vantage Roadster and Rapide are already available in the country. In September, Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez informed Reuters that he wanted a diversified geographical reach including China, the UK, the rest of Europe, as well as in North America.
When it comes to the Vantage range, it appears that at its peak stands the Aston Martin V12 Zagato. This model is the newest manifestation of the creative and successful cooperation that has resulted in a number of remarkable GT cars for the last 50 years. The first result of such collaboration was the iconic DB4GT Zagato. While the DB4GT Zagato remains to be one of the most valuable, collectable, and desirable cars in automotive history, the fact that it is celebrating its 50th anniversary served as the V12 Zagato’s inspiration. While the V12 Zagato does serve to honor many of the past Aston Martin models, it is not an imitation of the original.
For the brand, the V12 Zagato though is the best chance to carry the tradition and philosophy of Aston Martin to new heights. In order to achieve this, the brand needed to combine the technology that was first seen in the One-77 with modern ideas, new materials, and contemporary process. All these were accomplished while ensuring that it continued to be true to the craftsmanship and purity of the celebrated models of the past.
It was back in the early part of 2010 when that brand started working on the first design concepts for the V12 Zagato. The design team that undertook the task was mainly based in Gaydon and led by Marek Reichman, Director of Design at Aston Martin. Given that the original Zagato was known for its individual and bold style, the team was more than excited to take up the challenge of making the V12 Zagato.
The team knew that it wanted to honor the DB4GT Zagato but at the same push it to the limits of the brand’s design language. Since the brand has been known to bring ideas from start to finish in a quick manner, the Zagato program started to get that needed momentum as the design team worked with the artisans and the engineering in order to come out by the spring of 2011, a pair of concept cars.
According to brand CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez, the V12 commemorates not just the heritage of Aston Martin but its future as well. He says that the brand’s partnership with Zagato goes all the way back to at least half a century and since then has made a number of very special cars.
The first model that resulted from this partnership was the iconic DB4GT, a beautiful and fast car which made it highly desirable, he continues. For the V12 Zagato, he adds, the brand believes that it had managed not only to get the spirit of that original model but managed to put in modernity and this make it have its very own quality.