Aston Martin is planning to produce fewer Aston Martin Rapide saloons in order to match output to sales.Production is scheduled to drop to around 25 cars per week — around 1250 a year. That’s just over half of the 2000 cars originally envisaged in 2007/08.
Some sources even suggest that production is about to fall to 10 per week as Aston adjusts output, although the company is adamant it won’t drop that far.
Production of the Aston Martin Rapide was even halted in May. Immediately after the weekend of the Royal Wedding, an e-mail was circulated to contractors that no more components would be needed for the month. “There was little production because the factory was on shutdown,” said Aston.
Last week the company announced that it would end an eight-year production deal with Magna Steyr in Austria in the middle of 2012, six years earlier than expected. “We’ve served our notice period of one year, as per our contract,” said Aston.
Aston won’t comment on the terms of the contract, although sources suggests that it might cost the company as much as £10 million to buy itself out of the Magna Steyr deal.
A number of factors have changed since Rapide assembly was contracted out, most notably the slowing of the luxury car market. Aston’s sales have just about halved since the financial crash in September 2008. But in 2007/08, when the Rapide was being planned, the Gaydon factory in Warwickshire was close to maximum capacity.