British luxury automaker, Aston Martin has announced that their second manufacturing facility is now operational. The new 90-acre, former Ministry of Defence site at St Athan in Wales has initiated the production of the preliminary models of the upcoming DBX SUV.
In 2016, the site which includes three ‘Super Hangars’ have been transformed into a modern manufacturing facility for Aston Martin Lagonda. The site is set to be on target to begin full manufacturing by the first half of 2020 and will be the grounds which will solely cater to the manufacturing of Aston Martin's first every off-roader SUV – the Aston Martin DBX. The site was also named as Aston Martin Lagonda’s “Home of Electrification” as the future all-electric luxury Lagonda models will also be manufactured at the same facility.
Aston Martin Lagonda claims that the facility has already created 200 jobs and is expected to create 550 more directly. Indirectly through the supply chain and local business, the investment would be able to allow for a further 3,000 jobs in the region.
Aston Martin began real-world testing of their upcoming DBX SUV last year around the Welsh countryside which is still in progress currently. Aston claims that the DBX is currently being put through its paces around the Arctic Circle and lapping the north-loop of Nurburgring.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group Chief Executive Officer said that this is an exciting time for the company. The second luxury manufacturing facility is now producing cars and is ready to go into full production in H1 2020. Palmer went on to commend his facilities and manufacturing team, which is led by Keith Stanton, VP and Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer who he claims have done an outstanding job in getting the factory ready almost a year before full production starts, on time and on budget.
Aston Martin is expected to debut its first-ever SUV, the DBX in the first half of 2020 which could debut at next year’s Geneva Motor Show. The all-electric Lagonda models are some time away with the first scheduled to be introduced in 2022. Aston's current offering of cars range from the small Aston Martin Vantage, Vantage AMR, DB11, DB11 AMR and the flagship DBS Superleggera which are from their latest line up. However, the manufacturer continues to sell its four-door GT Rapide as an electric vehicle as the Rapide-E in limited numbers, along with the Rapide AMR.
Aston is expected to launch their road legal 1200hp hybrid hypercar – the Aston Martin Valkyrie in 2020 which has been designed and developed with their Red Bull Advanced Engineering spearheaded by the legendary Adrian Newey. The numbers currently released by the manufacturer looks promising. The Valkyrie and its design will also be what the future of Aston Martin models will be based as confirmed by Aston when they revealed the Vanquish Vision Concept and the 003 ‘Son of Valkyrie’ at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.