“The British are coming!” That was the infamous cry of Paul Revere as he rode a horse all night from Boston to Lexington to warn colonists in America about the impending attack of British Army forces back in 1775. Thirteen years earlier or in 1762, Manileños made a similar call when thousands of British forces overpowered Spanish soldiers in Manila Bay and occupied the capital in what was called the “British Invasion.” In the Philippine auto industry, another “British Invasion” has just been finalized with the arrival of Aston Martin, the latest brand in the short list of UK’s luxurious and high-end models that includes Jaguar, Mini, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Land Rover.
Aston Martin, United Kingdom’s most iconic auto brand, opened shop in Manila last week to provide Filipino car aficionados easier access to the much-aspired British luxury sports car brand.
Located at the ground level of the W Building at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, the Manila dealership is part of Aston Martin’s ongoing expansion in the Asia-Pacific region where the English brand’s market share is currently on the upswing.
The marque’s first Philippine dealership is backed by Marc Tagle and Wellington Soong who established DBPhils Motorsports Inc. to handle the distribution and import process for Aston Martin Manila.
“The economic growth in Asia-Pacific represents a huge potential for the brand. I am very pleased that we have found the perfect partners in Manila who share our passion for Aston Martin. This expansion will surely strengthen our network,” said Aston Martin Asia Pacific Regional Director Patrik Nilsson.
Speaking at the launch event, Tagle announced the introduction of the full-range of Aston Martin sports cars. From the track-inspired Vantage, the timeless DB9 and elegant four-door Rapide S to the ultimate in sporting luxury: the Vanquish.
According to Tagle, several orders have been taken on models even before the official opening of the dealership, including the 100-unit limited production Vantage GT12.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin Manila will also offer door-to-door pickup and delivery services for maintenance and repairs of customers’ vehicles. Owners can rest assured that their cars will be maintained by Aston Martin-certified technicians using the brand’s latest diagnostic equipment and tools. “We will welcome all Aston Martin owners at our new state of the art aftersales facility, including those who imported their cars prior to our official presence. This will be a new start for existing Aston Martin customers,” Tagle said.
“The luxury car segment is steadily growing in the Philippines and I am very happy that Aston Martin enthusiasts will now be able to enjoy ownership of these exclusive luxury sports cars,” he added.
UK Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad was on hand during the formal opening of the dealership and said he was very proud that Aston Martin has finally arrived in the Philippines.
Ahmad said that demand for British products in the Philippines have grown 44 percent over the past years because of the Filipinos’ affection for English products.
According to the British Ambassador, demand for British fashion, alcoholic beverages and automobiles have been growing considerably from the penchant of Filipinos for luxurious and high-quality products.
Ahmad attributed the increasing demand for luxurious products to the growing economy of the Philippines. “This country has a government that has successively improved the economy,” Ahmad said. “People through hard work here and through remittances coming in from abroad – after buying a house, spend their money on lifestyle items. That’s where the UK brands have really scored!”
When asked if the arrival of Aston Martin in the Philippines (completing the lineup of top British marques) can be called another British Invasion, Ahmad said, “We prefer to call it British Engagement. We tried that invasion in 1762: we got kicked out in two years,” the ambassador quipped.