RAC Cars News


New Welsh factory for Aston Martin

By raccars Published

Aston Martin

Aston Martin electric crossover coupe is to be built at a new £200 million Welsh plant.

Aston Martin has confirmed that it has bought the land for a manufacturing facility at St Athan in South Wales. The new factory in the Vale of Glamorgan will operate alongside the Aston Martin headquarters at Gaydon and will directly lead to the creation of 750 new jobs. The construction of offices, a staff restaurant, and reception areas at the plant has already started.

The hand-built DBX is set to go into production at the facility at the end of the decade and should go on sale in 2020. It marks the first foray for Aston Martin into the elite but booming SUV market. The new car’s silhouette makes it look like a two-door model but the production version should rival the likes of the Maserati Levante, the Lamborghini Urus, the Bentley  and the Porsche Cayenne.

The Aston Martin DBX story

The Aston Martin luxury GT made its first appearance at the Geneva motor show in 2015. It is the company’s first all-wheel-drive all-electric crossover and will lead onto the production car. Aston is billing it as the firm’s first ever ‘family-friendly’ GT with an ‘environmentally responsible’ approach, which should help the brand to offset the emissions from the other cars in its range.

In terms of its appearance, the DBX offers a contemporary take on traditional Aston styling, boasting a wide grille and a svelte front profile. Its higher ride height breaks from tradition, however, signalling that Aston is not aiming for sporting performance.

At the back, there are familiar Aston Martin LED lights and two-tone buttresses along the sloping roofline. Marek Reichman, Aston’s design director, said last year that the car was catering for a future where emission-free driving is a requirement for some customers, adding that a choice of traditional powertrains would also be necessary if it is to sell around the world.

He added that solar trickle chargers positioned on the back parcel shelf would run the car’s air-conditioning if it is left standing in a sunny environment. This would be important in the model’s core markets, such as China, the US and the Middle East. The floating pillars are then set to become an Aston signature on ‘more gentile models’ such as the DB9, he said.

New era for Aston Martin

Aston Martin’s chairman, Andy Palmer, has pledged that every car in the company’s range will be replaced by the close of the decade and three new models will be added. He said that each car will have its own ‘striking design differences’, as displayed in the likes of the Vulcan and DB10.

Palmer has called the DBX ‘the third pillar’ in a three-tier Aston Martin family, saying that it marks a reinvention for the sports car. It also signals a new era for the Vale of Glamorgan, with Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones saying that he was delighted that the firm had chosen Wales.

He said Aston Martin’s plans were ‘fantastic’ for the Vale and surrounding areas as they will boost the local economy and lead to thousands of jobs, both at Aston and within the broader supply chain.

The next phase of the St Athan project will start in April. This will see the firm gaining access to three MoD 'super hangars' which will become the home of the new manufacturing facility. Alun Cairns, the secretary of state for Wales, said that an ideal environment for economic growth was instrumental in attracting Aston Martin to the area.

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