Aston Martin picks Beijing for SUV launch with China key to future

By BLOOMBERG | 6 November 2019

LONDON: Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc will launch its first sport-utility vehicle in Beijing this month, highlighting China’s importance as a key market for a model the company says will help double sales.

The luxury carmaker, whose stock is down 78% since listing 13 months ago, will price the DBX from US$189,900 (RM786,000), pitching it between Lamborghini’s best-selling Urus SUV, which starts at US$200,000 (RM828,000), and the US$165,000 (RM683,000) Bentley Bentayga.

Aston Martin is counting on the DBX to spur demand in markets where wealthy individuals tend to favour more-rugged autos because of the poor quality of roads, such as China and Russia.

Sales at Volkswagen AG’s Lamborghini surged 50% last year, with the Urus accounting for almost a third of the tally, while Ferrari NV plans to join the supercar-SUV club with the Purosangue in 2022.

Gaydon, England-based Aston Martin has also pegged future borrowing to the success of the Welsh-built DBX, with US$100 million (RM414mil) of bonds available only if it sells 1,400 cars by the middle of next year.

The DBX will feature a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 producing 550hp, with a top speed of over 290kph. Orders will open on Nov 20, the same day as the Beijing event, with deliveries starting next year.

The company, whose traditional sports models have seen demand suffer amid challenges from Brexit and global trade wars, aims to lift total sales to 14,000 autos by 2023 from about 6,440 last year.