Jan. 12, 2015

Neil Slade

UAE, Dubai

Neil Slade

Middle East Director of Operations, Aston Martin, Middle East and North Africa


Neil Slade has been working for 10 years with Aston Martin. Currently, He is working as Middle East Director of Operations. He has lead the expansion of Aston Martin through the GCC, India, and Africa. He is based in Dubai and coordinates activity through 15 franchises in 12 different countries.

What was the strategy behind Aston Martin's decision to return to the UAE after a two-year break?

Aston Martin never actually left the UAE market, and we merely took a break to refocus, reconsolidate, and launch in a manner that would provide a far better customer experience, which required significant investments. If you intend to deliver something exceptional, it demands two or three years of planning and proper implementation. The investment itself requires significant development, all of which takes time. One of the premier Aston Martin showrooms in the world is in Dubai; a flagship showroom we are extremely proud of that is located adjacent to Dubai Mall. We offer a lifestyle car, which demands a careful selection of address. We believe that the way we invested in the UAE sent a strong message. The first outcome of our efforts of the past two years is our showroom facilities, which are second to none. In addition to this we have an after-sales technical center, built with millions of dollars of investment, and one of the largest technical centers in the world. This was a sound investment as the UAE already has an appetite for our product. We have the client base here, but of course that client base deserves the best facilities, which is precisely what we have provided.

How are your sales and growth rates performing?

Our growth currently exceeds 100% per year, and for 2014, too, we expect between an 80% and 100% increase in sales. We have a clear range of products, from smaller to larger engines, and from a relatively affordable product to a much more exclusive, top-of-the-line model. Aston Martin has launched several truly splendid models globally over the past year. In November 2013 at the Dubai Motor Show, we were able to launch those products in the region for the first time. Over the past 12 months, we have brought up four exclusive products, and by 2015 we will have a further three exclusive products for sale in the region. Our selection process is a combination of being able to pioneer a product in the market, and the availability of the right product choices.

Which models are you set to launch, and which are new to the Middle East?

Our Flagship model, the Vanquish, is new to the market. Late in 2013, we introduced the V12 Vantage, the fastest Aston Martin ever produced. On top of this we also brought out the convertible Vanquish Volante, new to the region as of December 2013. This year we have a number of new products, including a special-edition Vantage N430 in June. June also sees the introduction of a V8 Vantage range, which is a competitive, sporty car. And in late July we will bring out special editions of our DB9, the legendary James Bond car, in carbon black or pure white.