Following on from last week’s exciting news about the partnership between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, we are sticking to the theme of motorsport with the news that sports car production is coming to South Wales.
Both TVR and Aston Martin have announced facilities for South Wales.
After much speculation Aston Martin announced that they will open a new factory at St Athan where they will build the new DBX crossover model. It is expected that the factory will be producing cars in 2020. The factory will create more than 750 jobs; even more when the wider supply chain and local business is considered.
There were more than 20 other locations considered for the site, and there were a number of factors that meant the St Athan site was the right one. Talking about the decision to locate the factory at St Athan Chief Executive Andrew Palmer explained that quality ranked most highly in their decision matrix. Quality of supply base, craftsmanship and relationships with government, both national and local. The came timing. They want to go in to production in 2019. The already levelled ground and buildings at St Athan mean it’s a great start. And finally, there’s cost. That includes parts, infrastructure, cost of building and government aid.
“Wales had a very compelling case” he said “But it wasn’t one single attribute, it was a combination of quality, cost and timing.”
Aston Martin, is at the luxury end of the market so production will not be on a mass scale and it is anticipated that the number of cars produced at St Athan will be in the low thousands.
Recruitment begins for the St Athan facility this week with an initial recruitment event at the International Centre for Aerospace Training (ICAT) in South Wales between 11:00-15:00 on March 30.
TVR will create 150 new jobs with the opening of their new facility in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone. Production will start next year and will begin with a few hundred cars. The company hopes to be producing 2000 cars a year by 2022. There have already been 350 advance orders for the car based on images released last year.
The engine is powered by V8 Cosworth engines and the car has been designed by Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray Design Ltd
TVR chairman Les Edgar said: “This is a fantastic opportunity both for TVR and the Welsh Government.”
“South Wales is becoming a major hub for automotive and motor sport technology and development. South Wales is becoming a major hub for automotive and motorsport technology and development and the area is a serious opportunity for business development and job creation. We have a sports car project that has garnered global approval and excitement, and we are delighted that the Welsh government wish to become a part of an exciting new era for TVR.”
Both these announcements are a boost not only to the automotive sector but to Wales as a whole creating jobs and opportunities for the workforce. Is this just the beginning of the return of vehicle production lines in Wales?