PRESTIGE commuting could be coming to Australia. Aston Martin has been certifying its Cygnet small car for use in Australia, but has not yet decided whether to sell it here.
Marketing and communications manager for AsiaPacific Marcel Fabris says they are researching to ‘‘ascertain volume and viability in the market’’.
If it was sold here it would cost between $60,000-$70,000 he says.
‘‘We are working forwards with it and it is almost certified for use there,’’ says Fabris, who is based in China.
‘‘We’ve been doing all the back-end engineering side of things. It’s just a matter of deciding if the Australian public want that type of product at this stage.’’
The 1.3-litre, fourcylinder Cygnet is a far cry from some of the V12 sports cars the English manufacturer builds, such as the Zagato, which starts production later this year and will be as much as $900,000.
The Cygnet was launched two years ago in the UK and Europe, and last year in Hong Kong and Japan, where Fabris says it is ‘‘very successful’’.
‘‘We are now evaluating the potential for other markets,’’ he says.
‘‘There is a real reason and purpose for this car in those countries where there is a lot of traffic congestion, limited parking, plenty of wealth and people like to drive a nice car.
‘‘There is also the element of looking after the environment and a lot of people in that end of the market are environmentally conscious.
‘‘In Australia there are wealthy people who are environmentally conscious, but you don’t have the challenges with congestion and parking; there are parking bays drawn on the ground.
‘‘In these other countries they try to jam in as many as they can.
‘‘There is no real necessity for the car here. In those other countries it’s a decision of the brain, but in Australia it would be a purely emotional purchase.’’
More suitable and likely for Australia would be the Aston Martin Lagonda.
While Fabris would not comment on the concept SUV going into production, it is believed the company is seriously considering it.
‘‘It would be more appropriate in Australia, the US, the Middle East and China, where they like big cars and have plenty of room, and fuel is not ridiculously expensive,’’ he says.
‘‘When the concept was first shown there was only the Range Rover Evoque, but now we’ve got Bentley (EXP 9F), Maserati (Kubang) and Lamborghini (Urus) with SUV projects, so that’s a testament to the fact that we are not the only ones who think there is a market for a luxury SUV.’’
Fabris says the vehicle would cost ‘‘around $400,000-plus’’ in Australia.
Price would not exclude it from Australia as one mystery buyer recently forked out about $2.5 million for the only One-77 two-door coupe coming to Australia.
Fabris says that despite ‘‘the worst global economic conditions for some time’’, the company had still been able to sell all 77 of the world’s most expensive production car.
Aston Martin last year sold about 4200 cars worldwide and 101 in Australia, back from a global peak of 7500 in 2007 and 160 here.
‘‘We have seen sales pul- led back, but our business is very flexible,’’ Fabris says.
‘‘At the current number we are still profitable and running a sound business, but obviously not as many as we’d like. However, we are still able to tip money into product development.’’
It is believed Aston Martin will not only begin making the Zagato later this year and soon after that the SUV Lagonda, but will also update its DBS and DB9.
Aston Martin vehicles are imported individually into Australia by each of the dealers in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and on the Gold Coast.
The Aston Martin Cygnet is being certified for use in Australia, but the company has not made a decision on whether to sell it here