Currently reading: Aston Martin opens 'pivotal' St Athan factory
New Welsh factory will build the British firm's vital DBX luxury SUV

Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer says the new DBX production plant in St Athan, Wales, which was officially opened today (Friday), will be “hugely important” to the firm’s future growth.

The facility, which occupies three converted ‘super-hangers’ that were formerly part of the Ministry of Defence St Athan site, will be the sole global production site for the firm’s vital new luxury SUV. The plant was opened by Palmer and Mark Drakeford AM, the Welsh First Minister.

When full production begins in the second quarter of 2020, around 600 people will be employed at the factory, rising to 750 when peak production is reached.

Palmer said the opening of the plant was “a pivotal day for Aston Martin and a vote of confidence in the UK.” He added: “The opening of St Athan is a hugely important milestone in the company’s growth plan and integral to our ambitions as a global luxury brand with a presence in all major sectors of the market.”

First Minister Drakeford said: “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.”

Aston Martin bought the former MOD site in 2016, the year that it also began training the first employees on the DB11 production line at its existing Gaydon plant. The first buildings, including the reception, restaurant and offices, were constructed in 2017, with work to convert the hangers starting last year.

The opening of the site came the day after Autocar revealed that billionaire Lawrence Stroll is considering a bid to buy a major stake in the company.


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Paul73 6 December 2019


Hangers are for clothes, not aeroplanes....
Symanski 6 December 2019

Improved production processes.

It's great that Palmer seems to be improving Aston's production processes, and getting the engineering behind the cars superb.   Just that he needs a new designer; one who can finish off the product far better than Reichman is doing.


Vantage sales have been blamed for their poor results.   We know that other Reichman designs have been poorly received.   The DBX isn't terrible, but I think half of that is relief that it wasn't terrible!


Get a new designer working on fixing the Vantage, and put round steering wheels back on your cars!

scotty5 6 December 2019

Fake news or a mirage?

For the past three years we've been told people are not buying car because of Brexit. We've been told of job losses because of Brexit. We've been told manufacturing companies are not investing in the UK and Britain not the place to build factories. So when a news item says Aston Martin have build a brand new factory in Wales...  obviously fake news.

If this story had been about Aston martin closing down, we'd have had four pages full of replies from remainers telling you how bad Brexit is but because it's a good news story - I reckon they'll be a couple of replies at best.

Andy Palmer said...

Mark Drakeford said...

What I'd like to know is what Mike Hawes and SMMT said. I suspect very little.


Symanski 6 December 2019

No, it's true.

scotty5 wrote:

We've been told manufacturing companies are not investing in the UK and Britain not the place to build factories. So when a news item says Aston Martin have build a brand new factory in Wales...  obviously fake news.

Nobody said you wouldn't get investment in the UK, just less of it.   Across the board the UK is now getting much less investment than before.   When it come to renewing a factory just wait and see if those companies shift production out of the UK to a more favourable country or not.


Of you could try to ignore the effects of Brexit as you are doing just now.