Earlier this year we reported on the great news that Aston Martin had decided that St Athan in Glamorgan was to be the site for their new facility in South Wales. There were more than 20 sites worldwide under consideration but a host of positive factors meant that St Athan was the ideal choice. This week the sale of the land was finalised and the official green light on the development given.
Work has already begun on the first phase of the development which includes building reception areas, offices and a staff restaurant. Phase 2 which includes access to the super hangars that will house the manufacturing arm of the site is planned for April 2017. Local welsh firm TRJ Contracting has been awarded the contract for the works.
750 jobs are to be created at the St Athan site and some new staff have already begun their training at the Aston Martin headquarters in Gaydon. However, it is expected that the wider supply chain will result in thousands of jobs and be a real boost to the local economy.
Aston Martin President and CEO Andy Palmer commented: “The exchanging of this contract, giving us first access to the St Athan facility, is a milestone in our 103-year history. Work now starts in earnest to turn our plans into reality. Since taking the decision to build our first SUV in Wales we have been impressed with the commitment and approach from both the MOD and the Welsh Government in making this project work. We continue to work with the Welsh Government in areas like recruitment to ensure we are able to meet our project timescales.”
Secretary of State for Wales, Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP, said: “Aston Martin choosing Wales sends a clear message to leading global companies around the world that Wales is open for business. We have created the ideal conditions for economic growth, which helped attract this unique and innovative car manufacturer to South Wales.”
The St Athan site will be producing the new DBX crossover model. Hand built, this will be Aston Martin’s entry to the high end SUV market, and will rival brands like Bentley, Maserati and Lamborghini. When the concept was unveiled in 2015 Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said “The DBX Concept is a challenge to the existing status quo in the high luxury GT segment. It envisages a world, perhaps a world not too far away, when luxury GT travel is not only stylish and luxurious but also more practical, more family-friendly and more environmentally responsible.”
With vehicles not due to be produced until 2020 there is still a while to go until we will see the DBX on the road, but expect to hear news as major milestones are achieved.