Kahn in growth mission in China

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Car design company Kahn Design has enlisted the help of overseas trade specialist Chamber International as the firm looks to create new sales partnerships in China.

The Bradford-based design firm has also opened a new showroom in Kensington with the aim of targeting aspirational customers looking for a different motoring experience.

afzal kahn: Now we will be able to provide an exceptional atmosphere to those who share similar aspirations to us.Picture: bruce rollinson

afzal kahn: Now we will be able to provide an exceptional atmosphere to those who share similar aspirations to us.Picture: bruce rollinson

Kahn Design, a group of four brands working with well-known car marques, was established in 1996 by Afzal Kahn.

The business is now active in all the major continents but wants to build a network of partner businesses in China after gaining an initial foothold in the country.

Alexander Feather, business development executive at Kahn Design, said: “We are expanding through peoples’ desire to express themselves by adding personalised style to their vehicle.

“This is particularly true in nations with a strong emphasis on a uniform traditional dress as, through us, drivers apply their individuality via their vehicle rather than their clothing.

“We already have a presence in China but it is a huge country and we wish to develop a network of Kahn Design partners to serve a wealthy elite who love British goods and design.

“We also want help with marketing and promoting our company there to attract business.

“Accessing the Chinese market could have a major impact on our global sales during the next five years and this is why we have sought help from specialists at Chamber International.”

The firm currently achieves about 60 per cent of sales through exporting.

Matthew Grandage, Chamber International China affairs specialist, said: “China’s car market is now the most valuable in the world. More new cars were bought there than in any other country in 2016 – more than 20 million – and Chinese consumers are also willing to pay much more for their cars than drivers in the UK, especially to own something unique, that reflects the owner’s personal style.”

Overseas partner businesses can either buy the vehicles locally and source the required upgrade package through Kahn Design or buy the vehicle already styled to the customer’s requirements from the firm, which will then export the vehicle for delivery to the customer. Kahn Design, which has a £20m turnover and 60 staff, is also opening its third store in the UK. The new boutique located on Kensington High Street will feature vehicles alongside an exclusive collection of wheels and accessories.

“Kensington is an epicentre for luxury and fashion,” automotive designer Afzal Khan said. “We are thrilled to be opening our second free-standing boutique in London.”

He added: “We have many clients in London and customers across the globe and now will be able to provide an exceptional atmosphere to those who share similar aspirations to us.

“I could not have imagined a better location for our second London store which will complement our Chelsea showroom which is located on the Kings Road.”