MONTEREY, Calif. -- Aston Martin will open four exclusive U.S. dealer points by year end.
Six other existing showrooms will be refurbished using Aston Martin's new corporate identity, says CEO Ulrich Bez.
The new stores will be in Seattle; Greensboro, N.C.; and Los Gatos and Marin County, Calif.
Dualled Aston Martin dealers are converting to exclusive showrooms in Pittsburgh; Boston; Edison, N.J.; and Van Nuys, Beverly Hills and Palm Springs, Calif.
Exclusive dealerships already have been refurbished in Dallas, Chicago and Washington.
The luxury automaker also is considering opening dealerships in Indianapolis; Nashville, Tenn.; and New Orleans.
As of Jan. 1, Aston Martin had five exclusive dealerships in the United States and 33 sales points.
The United States accounts for 30 percent of Aston Martin's global sales. That number could increase to 35 percent in the near future, Bez said at a press event here.
Bez expects Aston Martin to sell about 2,000 units worldwide this year.
With the arrival of the AMV8 Vantage in May, sales are expected to grow to slightly more than 3,000 units next year.
Aston Martin will increase its dealer count in other countries as well. Aston Martin has 105 dealers worldwide. That is expected to increase to 125 by year end and 140 by the end of 2005.
Aston Martin also will return to Le Mans-style GT racing, with a limited run of 30 DBR9 models.
Aston Martin will field at least three factory teams of two cars apiece, and sell the balance of the vehicles to private teams and collectors. The DBR9 will be priced at about $850,000 apiece.
"The first Aston Martin built in 1914 was a hill-climber," Bez says. "But when Aston Martin was struggling in the 1970s, we lost that (racing) essence. The time is right to bring back a car in a racing class that will be identified with the brand."