Aston Martin Lagonda this morning opened its new £250M manufacturing facility at St Athan.
First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford AM joined Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer at a ceremony after three-years of intense development and conversion from RAF Superhangers into one of the world’s most modern luxury car plants.
While Gaydon continues to be the home of the company’s sports car production, St Athan is the home of Aston Martin’s first SUV, the DBX.
Upon the commencement of full production at St Athan in the second quarter of 2020, the company will have created up to 600 new highly-skilled jobs, rising to 750 at peak production and 4,000 cars annually.
These aren’t just a line of vehicles to be left under branded Aston Martin car covers, these are SUVs made with performance and durability in mind.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said: “Today is a proud moment for Aston Martin, the Welsh Government and for Wales.
“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.
“I look forward to the first made-in-Wales Aston Martins rolling off the production line next year.”
The search for the best personnel began as soon as the purchase of Ministry of Defence (MOD) St Athan was announced in February 2016. Aston Martin launched a recruitment campaign in Cardiff, which attracted over 3,000 applicants, and within six months the first 40 employees had been hired. Creating world-class cars requires highly-skilled personnel so the new Welsh workforce began their careers with Aston Martin at its Gaydon headquarters, building DB11s. This core group of experts are now training new employees at St Athan as the workforce grows, ready for the start of DBX production in the second quarter of 2020.
Palmer added: “Everyone involved in the creation of our new St Athan facility should feel proud today. It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point. Our core business of producing beautiful, hand-crafted cars in England is now extended to Wales, which is extremely pertinent to us as a great British company.“