The first examples of Aston Martin’s upcoming SUV have rolled off the production line at the firm’s new factory, bringing some much-needed good news to UK car manufacturing.
The building of the pre-production versions of the Aston Martin DBX on the former Ministry of Defence facility in St Athan, south Wales, adds a automotive new production centre to the UK, in the wake of both Honda and Ford announcing that they are to close plants at Swindon and Bridgend.
Aston Martin Lagonda purchased the 90-acre site in 2016 to build a second factory to meet the expected demand for the SUV. At the time Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told The Car Expert that the DBX is expected to “provide a significant uplift” to the brand – productions are that it will effectively double volume.
Last year Aston Martin revealed that St Athan would be the home of electrified models, such as the forthcoming Lagonda. The luxury car maker says the facility has already created 200 new jobs, with 550 more expected as production ramps up as well as a potential 3,000 extra positions across its supply chain and in local businesses.
Palmer, describes the start of production as an exciting time for Aston Martin Lagonda.
“Our second luxury manufacturing facility is now producing cars and is ready to go into full production in the first half of 2020 – our facilities and manufacturing teams have done an outstanding job in getting the factory ready almost a year before full production starts, on time and on budget,” he says.
The Aston Martin DBX is currently undergoing real-world testing ahead of its official unveiling later this year. The SUV has been tested in areas as diverse as the Welsh countryside, the Arctic Circle and the Nurburgring Nordschleife race circuit.