Abu Dhabi: With the Formula One weekend just around the corner, Aston Martin has announced its plans for their first ultra-luxury vehicle — the DBX — which is expected to go on sale in 2020.

The car of choice for British spy James Bond, Aston Martin made a comeback in the elite segment in 2017 with the launch of the DB11, following its collaboration with Kuwaiti shareholder Investment Dar. According to the company, sales for the new model soared by 55 per cent, although the DB11 failed to make significant inroads in the Middle East.

To boost sales in the region, Dan Balmer, president of Aston Martin’s Middle East operations, has come to the capital, armed with a new team. “We did see more moderate sales in 2018 and that was with the rest of the market as well,” he said. “The reason for the big jump in 2017 was because of the DB11. They were a testament to the global growth we had as well. The new model just arriving in the market is Q4 and then DBS will be here in December as well. So, we will be seeing a moderate growth in the coming year,” said Balmer, accepting that the Middle East traditionally has a wider demand for SUV and sedans than sports cars.

“Demand for sports cars and its lifestyle usage is certainly there, but not as big in terms of appeal like in Europe or America. Having said that, people do buy sports cars here and when they do buy, they opt for higher-end models; they focus on features and content more,” said Balmer, who is confident that once DBX makes it entry, it will be a major player in this region.

“The reason we are investing big here in Abu Dhabi is because we believe it’s quite a market. The job for us over the next 12 to 18 months — before the DBX comes into the market in 2020 — is to establish new showrooms like the one here, across the whole region. Immediate brand awareness is the key.”