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Luxury Auto Treats

Luxury Auto Treats

Great news! Just when life in 2012 can’t get any more depressing, what with the economy and our bank accounts being in tatters, summer floods, washed-out festivals and Jimmy Carr taking the food from children’s mouths, it’s good to know that those kind philanthropic folk at McLaren and Aston Martin are thinking of us poor impoverished motorists. They’ve opened a retail shop!

That’s right. The first UK store dedicated to these world class sporting legends has opened in Westfield Stratford City – London’s latest prime shopping venue. Do you know, you’ll be able to buy a McLaren watch for as little as £9000? They’ll also be happy to sell you Aston Martin lifestyle clothing, luggage, shades and replica toy cars as well as associated up-market brands. You can even buy key rings. Gain the admiration of friends when you chuck your AM branded keys onto the pub table. (Don’t forget to park the 106 around the corner before you go in!). The centrepiece will be examples of Jenson’s and Lewis’s F1 cars for added glamour.

Clearly, this is a marketing ploy ready for the influx of hundreds of thousands of culture starved foreigners over here for the Olympics. This unique business opportunity has been dreamed up by the Prodrive organisation which up until now has only marketed these luxury items to the trade. The Westfield complex, with its aspirational shops and close proximity to the Olympic venues was obviously seen as the ideal location.

Enthusiasts are already well catered for anyway. Car related goods are always available at racing venues and shows, online and from motoring clubs; it’s hard to see how this shop will succeed in the long term once the cash-rich tourists have gone home and we all settle down to bask in the glories of the British winter.

Never mind: there are no sour grapes as it has always been so. With luxury cars come luxury lifestyle goods and there‘s nothing wrong with that. Maserati, Ferrari and Porsche have done it successfully for years but always in a subtle way. The items are there if you want them at the dealers. That way it all becomes part of the package of buying into an expensive auto brand instead of just high street designer chic.

McLaren are one of the biggest names in motor sport and also offer brilliant road cars. Aston Martin are a byword for British elegance and class and their cars have never been better or more desirable. Does opening what is essentially a flash high street shop make their image any better?

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==