Production of the new Aston Martin DBX – the beleaguered firm’s first SUV, which will be vital to its long-term future – has begun at the new St Athan factory in Wales. Deliveries of the new model are due to begin later this month.
The DBX has been under development since 2015 and is set to become the most important model the British firm has produced. Aston Martin believes that the DBX will account for around half of the company's total sales in the coming years, broadening Aston’s customer base beyond its core sports car market.
The firm’s new St Athan plant, located on the site of an old Ministry of Defence base, was built specifically to house the new DBX production line. It took Aston four years to build the plant, which opened last December, and the first first series-production DBX - finished in Stirling Green, Aston's race team colour - rolled off the new line there today (Wednesday), with interrim chief operation officer Keith Stanton at the wheel.
Aston claims to have taken more than 2000 orders for the DBX so far, sustaining production into 2021. The plant's annual output will be around 4000 cars.
Stanton, who is in day-to-day charge of the firm until new boss Tobias Moers joins – said the start of production at the plant was “testament to the resilience and fortitude of everyone at Aston Martin.”
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer, called the DBX "a critically important landmark" and "the culmination of five years of hard work by everyone at Aston Martin”.
He added: “We are incredibly proud of our first SUV, which is as much of an Aston Martin as any one of our sports cars. From my design team to the engineers, the vehicle dynamics team and all the experts who handcraft this beautiful car here at St Athan, the DBX has become the car that will drive Aston Martin into a bold new era.
The DBX will be vital to reviving the fortunes of Aston Martin. The firm’s share price and value have fallen sharply since the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange and it has posted a series of heavy losses, exacerbated by the recent coronavirus pandemic. Billionaire Lawrence Stroll’s investment group recently invested heavily in the firm, leading to the Canadian becoming Aston’s new chairman.