Aston Martin to build the DBX in a former RAF military base
It’s been a human tendency - a brand new task or project requires brand new tools. It is as basic as a child asking for a new pencil box for his first day at school. Some of us even do the same when joining a new workplace. So, if we couldn’t deter from this in so many years, how can we expect the car companies to be any different.
Following the unveiling of its first-ever SUV, the DBX, British carmaker Aston Martin recently opened the doors to its new manufacturing facility in Wales. The new plant, located at St Athan, will be home to the production of the….you guessed it, the DBX.
The British marquee claims production for the DBX at St Athan will commence by the second quarter of 2020. Opening of the St Athan plant will facilitate the creation of up to 600 new highly-skilled jobs, as per the luxury brand. The number could further extend to 750 on reaching peak production.
Detailing is something which holds great value at Aston. No wonder the company launched a recruitment drive in Cardiff right after the facility purchase in February 2016. A total of 3,000 applicants applied, amongst which only 40 got hired. These skilled workers were further trained to perfect themselves by building DB11s at the Gaydon headquarters. And now, they will comprise the core expert group, responsible for training and getting the upcoming new workforce batch ready for production at St Athan.
St Athan isn’t any abandoned old shoe factory. It started out as the home of the No.4 School of Technical Training in 1938 under the RAF. The army base, once home to around 14,000 personnel, was used for training both ground and aircrew during World War II.
Post-war, St Athans continued to serve as a training facility. It later doubled up as a maintenance base for aircraft like the Vulcan, Phantom, Tornado and Hawk. The last aircraft to get serviced here departed the site in February 2012.
The St Athan plant was inaugurated by the First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford along with Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer. Speaking on occasion, 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.”
The British carmaker will only be producing the DBX at the new facility. Rest of the automaker’s sports cars will continue to get built in the firm’s home Gaydon plant.