Some 750 highly-skilled jobs will be created in South Wales with the development of a new manufacturing centre for Aston Martin.
The site, in the Vale of Glamorgan, beat off competition from 20 other locations worldwide, including sites in North America and the Middle East.
Currently being used by the MOD, the new facility will transform three existing super hangars into a bespoke manufacturing centre for the new car. Construction work at the 90 acre site is due to commence in 2017, with cars due to roll off the production line in 2020.
The investment by Aston Martin shows confidence in Wales and the British car making industry, as it will be the sole facility for the production of the DBX. The DBX is a concept crossover vehicle first mooted in 2015 to show Aston Martin’s intention to push into this fast growing sector of the luxury car market.
There is growing demand for this type of luxury car in China and the US, and it is expected that 90% of the cars produced at St Athan will be exported.
Aston Martin CEO Dr Andrew Palmer made the announcement at an event at the Welsh Government Headquarters at Cathays Park, Cardiff, with First Minister Carwyn Jones and Minister for Economy Edwina Hart, a prototype of the new DBX vehicle was unveiled outside the landmark offices.
Minister for Economy Edwina Hart said: “We are committed to working in partnership with Aston Martin to ensure the site, right in the heart of our Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone, continues to match the company’s aspiration for any future growth and provides highly-skilled employment and world-class apprenticeship opportunities in the automotive sector in for many generations to come.”
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. As a great British company, we look forward to St Athan joining Gaydon as our second center of hand-crafted manufacturing excellence,” continued Palmer.
Welcoming the announcement, Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb said: “Today’s announcement is an enormous boost for St Athan, for Wales and for the British car industry. It is a genuine example of a ‘one nation’ achievement, with both the UK and Welsh Governments working together to attract this prestige manufacturer to Welsh shores.
“This decision has reinforced Wales’ position as an innovator and leader in the automotive sector. It also shows the strength and competitiveness of our manufacturing sector, and the high-end skills base that is driving our economy forward.
“St Athan will present a wealth of opportunities to Aston Martin. I look forward to seeing the Super Hangar transformed into a major manufacturing base, and seeing Wales underlining its important contribution to the renaissance of the UK automotive industry.”