Women are driving luxury carmaker Aston Martin's growth in China

British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, known for its handcrafted sportscars, had a record year in 2017, driven in part by rising demand in China.

Aston Martin saw its global retail sales rise by 58% in 2017 to 5,117 units, up from 2,339 units the year prior. In China, the company saw 89% year-on-year growth rate, driven largely by its DB11 GT model.

“We practically doubled our sales last year in China, which was very good. And we came fairly close to being number one in our market,” CEO Andy Palmer tells Yahoo Finance.

The company recently announced a five-year £620 million ($863 million) investment in China as part of its expansion efforts into the world’s largest auto market.

Part of the challenge has been explaining Aston Martin’s story, which has long been associated with the car James Bond drives.

Aston Martin DB11

“[There] is much more to the brand than just that. As you said, handmade, British, bonded aluminum etc, etc.”

One trend that Aston Martin has seen is that more women in China are driving their cars than in any other market.

“What is interesting about China is 50% of our customers in China are female. The average age of our customer in China is about ten years younger than in the West, a big big difference,” Palmer said.

He added that it’s “very healthy” to see growth driven by these types of customers.

Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.