Aston said last month it expects to sell 3,850 DBXs a year, compared with annual sales of 3,250 for the newly launched Vantage entry sports car.
The DBX will widen Aston Martin's customer base to include new demographics, for example women, as well as winning new customers in markets such as China, the company has said.
Aston Martin is expanding its dealer count in China to 20 by the end of the year from 16 now, with a possible 8 to 10 more ahead of the DBX launch, Palmer said. “Broadly speaking we will double in volume so we can justify that,” he said.
China accounts for about 6 percent of Aston’s total volume but sales are held back because wealthy Chinese customers prefer much roomier vehicles than the sports cars the automaker currently sells.
The DBX will have a head start in China on Ferrari which has pushed back the launch of its first crossover to 2022. "Our strategy of moving east is built upon taking advantage of Ferrari's delay to their SUV," Palmer said.
Ferrari has said that its crossover will be called the Purosangue (Italian for thoroughbred). "Having now seen the wonderful design and the extraordinary features I am a hugely enthusiastic supporter," Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri said at the presentation of the company's new business plan in September.
Aston Martin has just emerged from an information blackout period imposed after the company floated just over a quarter of its shares on the London Stock Exchange in October. The value of the shares initially slid 23 percent but rose again and are now currently 11 percent down on the start price.