LONDON -- With the DBX, its first SUV, Aston Martin aims to attract female customers who don't find the automaker's powerful sports cars appealing.
Currently only about 10 percent of the buyers of Aston's lineup of sports cars are women, although half of its customers in China are female.
CEO Andy Palmer said the automaker hopes that globally up to half of its buyers will be women.
"Aston is cool but if you can make it cool among both male and female customers," he said.
The profile of Aston Martin's target customer for its first SUV is a 40-something West Coast entrepreneur with children, called "Charlotte."
The automaker said it used an all-female advisory body, dealership feedback and private focus groups to help design many of the features in the DBX. These include separate central armrests, the glove box design and the ergonomic positioning of the car’s key control systems, along with greater leg room and a shorter reach to the controls.
Aston Martin is trying hard to turn around its performance and winning new customers will be key to its success.
By switching its focus to "Charlotte" for the SUV, the company hopes the DBX, priced at 158,000 pounds ($204,000) in Britain will improve its fortunes.
The automaker's share price has plunged this year as sales underperformed after a stock market flotation and the global automotive industry has had a torrid year.
The company hopes to increase its current annual sales of around 6,000 sports cars this year with up to 5,000 units of the DBX, which will enter production next year at a new factory in Wales.
Aston Martin's sales have been hit most recently by falling demand in Europe and for its Vantage model.
The wider car market has been affected by declining sales in China, trade war worries between the world's two biggest economies, a slump in diesel sales in Europe and the need to invest heavily in electrification.
Aston Martin has gone bankrupt seven times in its history and has seen its share price plunge by around 75 percent since listing on the London Stock Exchange in October last year. So far this year, it is making a loss.