Aston Martin revealed the brand’s first-ever SUV in its 106 year history, the Aston Martin just a few days ago in Shanghai and the SUV is expected to go on sale in India in the second quarter of 2020.
Speaking to our sister publication Autocar Professional after the global unveil of the DBX in Shanghai, Aston Martin's President and CEO Andy Palmer says, "Very clearly, as it plays out, the SUV segment is becoming very important," while highlighting the fact that SUV models are driving sales of most other sports /exclusive car brands.
The DBX will go on sale during the April-June 2020 period with a commercial launch "almost simultaneously" around the world. The company has already begun accepting booking in India for the SUV following it’s unveiling on November 20, 2019. Palmer is "optimistic" about the DBX's prospects in India and its role in fueling Aston Martin's presence here. Currently, an estimated 15-20 Aston Martin cars are sold in India annually. It sold over 6,000 cars globally last year.
With the launch of the DBX next year, Aston Martin plans to expand its footprint in India. It will start with "more dealerships". India is part of Aston Martin's Asia Pacific business, headquartered in Singapore.
The opening of the Singapore office, and a limited company in Japan, both in 2015, reflects the OEM's growing focus in this region. Aston Martin sees the high import duty of around 140 percent on fully built imports as a major hurdle to tap what is "potentially a big market". However, efforts are on. "I've specifically assigned some people to look at exploring how we can do better in the Indian sub-continent," says Palmer.
India as a component sourcing base
India may not be a significant market for Aston Martin cars yet, but it has already become a growing base for sourcing at least some components that make them. A couple of forged and castings components also help these cars to be robust and perform at scorching paces. "I am actually pleased with the way our supply chain has embraced India," says Palmer.
Hinduja Tech, earlier known as Defiance Technologies, a product engineering and digital technologies company of the Hinduja Group, is helping Aston Martin to identify suppliers and also helping suppliers wherever needed, to meet the OEM's stringent standards. The rise in sourcing components from India by global OEMs is also a reflection of the growth of Indian suppliers' competence in terms of quality and technological capabilities too.
The DBX could possibly lead Aston Martin's sales in India but it definitely is expected to globally. Palmer expects the DBX to find around 4,000 customers a year in international markets. That's two-third of its current annual sales volume.