Aston Martin opens 'pivotal' St Athan factory

by James Attwood, Autocar UK 08 Dec 2019


Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer says the new DBX SUV production plant in St Athan, Wales, which was officially opened on December 6, will be “hugely important” to the firm’s future growth.

The facility, which occupies three converted ‘super-hangers’ that were formerly part of the Ministry of Defence St Athan site, will be the sole global production site for the firm’s vital new luxury SUV. The plant was opened by Palmer and Mark Drakeford AM, the Welsh First Minister.

When full production begins in the second quarter of 2020, around 600 people will be employed at the factory, rising to 750 when peak production is reached.

Palmer said the opening of the plant was “a pivotal day for Aston Martin and a vote of confidence in the UK.” He added: “The opening of St Athan is a hugely important milestone in the company’s growth plan and integral to our ambitions as a global luxury brand with a presence in all major sectors of the market.”

First Minister Drakeford said: “Locating this world class and globally recognised brand in St Athan is a huge vote of confidence in the Welsh workforce. It is an example of the Welsh Government’s support and can-do attitude, driving economic growth and creating jobs.”

Aston Martin bought the former MOD site in 2016, the year that it also began training the first employees on the DB11 production line at its existing Gaydon plant. The first buildings, including the reception, restaurant and offices, were constructed in 2017, with work to convert the hangers starting last year.

The opening of the site came the day after Autocar revealed that billionaire Lawrence Stroll is considering a bid to buy a major stake in the company.