DETROIT - Aston martin wants to becomme the British version of Ferrari - and it plans to achieve that aim by developing a three-car lineup. The exclusive UK sports car company, owned by Ford Motor Company, is looking for 50 percent growth this year, according to Robert Dover, Aston Martin's chairman and chief executive.
Aston Martin made about 700 cars in 1999 and plans to build about 1,200 units this year. Eventually it would like to grow to near-Ferrari volume. That would be about 3,000 cars annually.
'We would like to be as important to Ford as Ferrari is to Fiat,' said Dover.
To reach its volume goals, Aston Martin will need to increase its product offerings beyond the DB7 and Vantage V8.
'A three-car lineup is inevitable for Aston,' said Ian Callum, chief stylist for Aston Martin and Jaguar. 'We've got to get in the price bracket below DB7.'
At the recent Detroit auto show, Aston Martin showed a DB7 Vantage powered by a 6.0-liter, 420hp, 12-cylinder engine.