The UK is to gain a new car manufacturing facility – Aston Martin will build its forthcoming crossover at St Athan in Wales.
The decision, which will create the premium brand’s second manufacturing location alongside its existing base at Gaydon in Warwickshire, is part of a £200m investment in Aston Martin’s UK operations.
The St Athan site in Glamorgan will make use of an existing Ministry of Defence site – three ‘super hangars’ will be transformed into the new plant, with construction beginning in 2017.
St Athan will be the sole UK production location for Aston Martin’s new crossover that will be evolved from the DBX concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015. Production is expected to begin in 2020.
At Gaydon the new DB11 – replacement for the DB9 – will begin production in Autumn 2016, and from 2018 the all-electric RapidE will also be built at the Warwickshire facility.
Aston Martin estimates that by 2020 1,000 new posts will be created within the company by the expansion, and a further 3,000 jobs are likely in the supply chain and local businesses around the factories.
Announcing the investment, Aston Martin CEO Dr Andrew Palmer reveals that more than 20 potential global locations for the new manufacturing facility were analysed in detail.
“We were consistently impressed with the focus on quality, cost and speed from the Welsh Government team,” Palmer says.
“As a great British company, we look forward to St Athan joining Gaydon as our second centre of hand-crafted manufacturing excellence.”
First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones is welcoming the announcement. “We have been working closely with the company for almost two years in the face of fierce competition from other potential sites across the world,” he says.
“Our success today is testament to the reputation, dedication and skills of the Welsh workforce, all qualities that are synonymous with such a luxury, hand-crafted brand as Aston Martin”.