Aston Martin is pressing ahead with growth plans for the brand in China after launching the new Virage and Vantage S in the country. These include up to four new dealers over the next 12 months.

The supercar maker already has dealers in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Shanghai. It said China will spearhead the company’s future growth in Asia having already taken the position as the British marque’s fastest growing market in the region with sales in 2010 up 25% on the previous year.

Chief executive, Ulrich Bez said: “Now is the right time for us to accelerate our growth in China. We have taken our time to gradually establish the building blocks to ensure long-term stability for the brand in the region and – encouraged by reaction from customers – it is right for us to grow our presence.

“Clearly, China offers the largest emerging luxury market in the world and offers substantial growth potential for us while allowing us to remain exclusive and fulfilling our strategy of becoming less dependent on classic established (western) markets.

“In conjunction with the investment in our dealership network we will develop a new dedicated organisation for China and establish a regional office in Shanghai.”

After taking a steady and progressive approach since first introducing the brand to the Chinese market in 2008, strong interest and enthusiasm from a rapidly emerging luxury sports car market will see the company embark on the next stage of its growth plans for the region in 2011.

Regional director for Asia Pacific, Matthew Bennett said: “In April we enjoyed a very successful Shanghai show where the new Virage, Vantage S and four-door Rapide made their Chinese debuts – as well as the flagship One-77 making its first appearance in the region. During the show we saw considerable interest in our cars and a great enthusiasm for the Aston Martin brand from the Chinese public which gives us great encouragement.

“In the strong and growing Chinese luxury market we look forward to providing an expanded, dedicated Aston Martin dealership network throughout the country to allow customers to enjoy the Aston Martin experience.”

Further new products are being brought to the Chinese market over the coming weeks with the introduction of the new Virage, Vantage S and the recently launched Rapide four-door sports car making their Chinese debuts.

Both the new Virage and the Vantage S are on sale in China now with first deliveries starting this summer.

Aston Martin now has a global network of 135 dealers in 42 countries. As part of the company’s ongoing expansion plans it recently entered South America, India, Taiwan and Turkey.