Competition is finally forcing Aston Martin to plant its flag in the prime motor belt with a showroom at 2 Chang Charn Road
Aston Martin drives into town Higher profile: The new premises will be purely a showroom and will store up to seven cars. Here customers can discuss bespoke options in a nice setting, said Mr McCully -- PHOTO: ARTHUR LEE

COMPETITION is finally forcing Aston Martin to plant its flag in the prime motor belt with a showroom at 2 Chang Charn Road.

Just off Leng Kee Road and directly opposite the Chrysler showroom, the Aston Martin City Showroom will display and store the luxury models of the iconic British brand.

The new premises will be used purely as a showroom and for storage of up to seven cars, explained Derek McCully, managing director of Aston Martin Lagonda (SEA) Pte Ltd.

He declined to disclose the amount paid for the 10,000 square foot property, which has about 45 years left on its 99-year lease.

The company's sprawling Tuas facility at 1 Tuas Basin Link will continue to be retained as a full 3S centre, or showroom, service and spares.

"It is difficult to replicate such a facility in the Leng Kee Road area," said Mr McCully, referring to the Tuas premises. "The city showroom is for the convenience of our customers and a slightly higher profile. It is an extension of our existing business."

Mr McCully and chairman SK Djeng bought the Chang Charn Road property with its existing two-storey building last year. Initially, they had contemplated redeveloping it into a five-storey building but eventually decided to retain its charm and remodel it instead.

"The building is quite pretty and one of the things we can achieve is to enhance the neighbourhood," said Mr McCully. "At this location, customers can visit us and browse. They can discuss bespoke options in a nice setting."

Aston Martin Lagonda (SEA) was set up in 1994 at the 50,000 square foot property in Tuas. Then, Aston Martin only had two models. Over the years, the product range has grown and today it has eight models including variants.

Last year, 25 Aston Martin cars were registered, according to the Land Transport Authority. This year's figure should be "about the same", said Mr McCully.

He said the company will celebrate its 18th anniversary with the Dec 18 opening of the city showroom.

With Aston Martin's entry into the Leng Kee Road area, all the high-end sports car brands - Ferrari, McLaren, Bentley and Porsche - are represented in the prime motor belt except for Lamborghini.

Lambo used to be in a showroom at the junction of Leng Kee and Hoy Fatt roads until a couple of months ago when it moved out. But sources say the brand with the fighting bull badge is expected to return to the area soon.