One hangar will be used to put together the body in white, the second will be given over entirely to the paint shop, the third will be used for final assembly and trim. When fully tooled, the plant will be able to produce up to 7000 cars every year with space and many other currently empty buildings to spare. But this is just part of the St Athan story and St Athan just part of Aston Martin’s astonishingly ambitious yet fully funded investment plans, more of which in a moment.
Work on the buildings will start immediately, one of the bigger challenges being hacking through military grade half metre concrete floors designed to withstand the weight of the RAF’s largest aircraft. But by the end of next year, prototype DBXs intended for system, durability and crash test purposes will start to rumble around the roads of South Wales.
St Athan beat off competition from over 20 other venues, including bids from elsewhere in the UK, in Europe, Asia and the US. Aston Martin boss Dr Andy Palmer insists St Athan wasn’t the cheapest place to go but, for a range of reasons, including its location, relative proximity to the Gaydon head office, the pre-existing yet modern hangars, the space around them and the opportunity to employ directly 750 people there plus create around 3000 jobs in the local supply chain, it was the best bid by a distance. All cars produced at St Athan will wear ‘Handbuilt in Wales’ plaques under their bonnets.