The British company made the announcement as part of “investments towards its long-term future” in the UK. St Athan in Glamorgan will mark the firm’s second manufacturing facility, building on the existing premises in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Construction on the Welsh operation will begin in 2017 and vehicle production will start in 2020. The 90-acre site will be responsible for creating the new Aston Martin crossover car, which has been dubbed the “DBX”.
A first look of a concept vehicle was seen early last year, which marked Aston Martin’s ambition to tap into a “fast-growing segment of the luxury market”. It highlighted increasing demand for the vehicles in China and the US, and 90 per cent of St Athan creations are set to be exported from the UK.
First minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said: “I am delighted to officially welcome Aston Martin to Wales. 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.
“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.”
With Wales responsible for crossover vehicles, the Gaydon centre will be charged with next generation sports car development. The electric RapidE is one of the vehicles that will be produced at Gaydon from 2018.
The expansion of Aston Martin is set to generate some 1,000 jobs across both St Athan and Gaydon – three-quarters of which will be at the former – by 2020. Additionally, 3,000 jobs are expected to be created across the supply chain and local businesses.
Dr. Andrew Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin 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 for this new manufacturing facility, we were consistently impressed with the focus on quality, cost and speed from the Welsh government team.”
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Elsewhere, Aston Martin will begin production on the DB11 at Gaydon this autumn, a vehicle which will replace the existing DB9. The firm plans to replace and grow its entire sports car portfolio over the next five years, aiming for a volume of 7,000 vehicles produced annually by 2020.
Prime minister David Cameron backed the announcement and said it shows Aston Martin has real confidence in the British economy.
“With our economic strengths and easy access to European markets, the UK automotive sector is thriving,” he said.
“It is one of the biggest in Europe – and the most productive – and Aston’s creation of up to 1,000 new jobs in Wales and the West Midlands is welcome news.”
If luxury cars are your thing, you’ll be interested to know that Range Rover is offering “the most luxurious road trip on Earth”, which will cross five continents, eight countries and nine of the world’s finest hotels over 21 days for £100,000.
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