Aston Martin has confirmed it will build its upcoming DBX crossover SUV at a new factory in St Athan, Wales. The facility will run alongside Aston Martin's HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire, which will manufacture Aston’s proposed ‘second century’ sports car range.
The news of the new Aston Martin factory comes almost exactly one year after Aston Martin revealed the DBX concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. We’ve had little news on the production version since then, though the finished product is likely to retain that car’s nameplate.
It’s anticipated that as many as 1,000 new jobs will be created across Gaydon and St Athan as a result of a £200million investment in new products and facilities. Aston even boasts a further 3,000 jobs will be secured across the supply chain.
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Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “During our 103-year history, Aston Martin has become famous for making beautiful hand-crafted cars in England.
“Through a detailed evaluation of over 20 potential global locations, we were consistently impressed with the focus on quality, cost and speed from the Welsh Government team. As a great British company, we look forward to St Athan joining Gaydon as our second centre of hand-crafted manufacturing excellence.”
Prime Minister David Cameron also greeted the development, saying: “With our economic strengths and easy access to European markets, the UK automotive sector is thriving. It is one of the biggest in Europe – and the most productive – and Aston’s creation of up to 1,000 jobs in Wales and the West Midlands is welcome news.”
The 90-acre Welsh site will occupy an area currently in use by the Ministry of Defence, with Aston repurposing many of the facilities to house the production line for the new SUV. Construction work will commence next year, with the first cars set to reach customers in 2020 – with 90 per cent of DBXs due for export outside the UK.
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Palmer told Auto Express: “It’s a monumental moment for Aston Martin. It takes us beyond sports cars. It makes us sustainable and gives us portfolio protection.”
While he told us Aston’s aim is to top 7,000 units by the end of the decade, he assured us there was the capability of topping 10,000 should they desire. However, while Aston Martin had its limits, he did insist St Athan was capable of creating models than just the new crossover.
“I’ve always said the third string to our bow is the Lagonda brand”, he told us. Hinting that the next-generation of ultimate luxury vehicles could be produced alongside the DBX. Aston’s sports cars, including the new DB11, will be made in Gaydon.
Palmer swore all Aston Martins would continue to be hand-built, telling Auto Express: “It aligns with the ethos of the company. We made a decision to make a luxury brand, not an automotive brand. We are a hand-crafted artisan of cars if you like.”
What do you think of Aston Martin’s plan to invest in a new Welsh factory? Let us know in the comments below…