Aston Martin DBX nearing production
After initially showing its new DBX at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin seems to be fast-tracking the production of the all-new DBX and has announced that production is slated to begin in 2020 in an old RAF facility in Wales.
Initially, Aston Martin was looking at sites throughout Europe and even in the US of A, but the former RAF Vulcan Bomber facility in St. Athan South Wales got the nod from Aston due to the existence of the super-hangers, which they will use to house the production lines. This means that the company did not have to go to the expense and trouble of building a brand new facility, which has significantly reduced the lead time for starting production.
“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 centre of hand-crafted manufacturing excellence,” said Dr Andrew Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin. Er…perhaps someone should tell him that, technically, Wales is not in England.
The concept car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show was an all-electric affair, with motors at each hub, and let’s not forget that Aston is known to be developing an all-electric car in partnership with LeTV of China (see: Aston Martin to build Electric Cars for Chinese Internet Giant). But the first production run of 7,000 cars per year will be an all-petrol affair. Still, the annual production run is ambitious for a company that makes all of their cars by hand and has only made 70,000 in their entire 103-year history.
Obviously, Aston Martin is keen to enter into the sporty SUV market that seems to be dominated by the likes of Porsche, but will also be joined by the likes of the Bentley Bentagya, Jaguar F-Pace and Maserati Levante, not to mention the Rambo Lambo. This market is far from saturated and a recent look at some of the used car sites in the UK uncovered very few Porsche Macan’s selling for under £47,000, whereas you can get one from the dealer for just £42,000, which would indicate that the public is not willing to wait the six to nine months for delivery of a new one.
Of course, being hand-built, the new Aston Martin’s are expected to be in the £150,000 bracket, which will limit the prospective market somewhat. Palmer says he is envisaging a new type or style of GT travel, one that is stylish, luxurious and practical, and in all much more family-focussed. During the designing of the vehicle, the team had in mind a young American female driver who is both attractive and cool, and in her 30’s. Not like the old days, then, when Aston Martin’s definitely came with a whiff of ‘old-fart’.