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 |  Jul 18 2011, 7:17 AM

Having opened its first dealers in China in 2008, Aston Martin has announced plans to make a significant push into the world’s largest auto market. With an initial spread of four dealers in major centers such as Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Shanghai, the exotic British sports car brand will look to double its presence over the next 12 months by adding four more.

“Now is the right time for us to accelerate our growth in China,” said Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez. “We have taken our time to gradually establish the building blocks to ensure long-term stability for the Aston Martin brand in the region and – encouraged by reaction from customers – it is right for us to grow our presence.”

“Clearly, China offers the largest emerging luxury market in the world and offers substantial growth potential for us while allowing us to remain exclusive and fulfilling our strategy of becoming less dependent on classic established (western) markets.”

In addition to doubling its dealership presence, Aston Martin will also set up a regional office in Shanghai.

With sales having grown 25 percent in 2010, Aston Martin will look to grow that number again in 2011 with the addition of the Virage, Vantage S and Rapide now on sale in China. By the 2012 sales year, the brand should have its eight-strong dealer network fully operational, in order to solidify growth in the rapidly expanding market.