Aston Martin Stakes EV Dreams on Wales

Aston Martin has announced its new Welsh production plant will be the home of its super-premium zero-emission Lagonda brand and become its electrification hub.

Its Rapide E model will be built in this its second car plant when production begins in 2019. The carmaker says its Lagonda heralds the beginning of a new range of luxury vehicles that will commence production in 2021. The ‘Lagonda Vision Concept’, revealed at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show gives a taste of what could be future Lagonda products to emerge from the St Athan facility in Wales.

The plant is now in the third and final phase of completion and production of the company’s first sports utility vehicle (SUV) is due to begin in late 2019. The project includes the conversion of three super hangars on the former Ministry of Defence site. Aston Martin has committed to an additional investment of £50M ($65M) to make St Athan the home of electrification pointing to its vision on the future of Aston Martin in the UK. The new plant will bring up to 750 high skilled jobs to South Wales over the coming years, with more than 150 already recruited.

Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin president and group chief executive officer, said: “Aston Martin sees itself as a future leader in the development of zero emission technologies, and I am delighted that St Athan will be our ‘Home of Electrification’ for both the Aston Martin and Lagonda brands. The Rapide E will spearhead development of Aston Martin’s low- and zero-emission vehicle strategy. With the reintroduction of the Lagonda brand, this is a demonstration of how electrification features prominently in our business plan moving forward.”

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “I’m delighted that Aston Martin has chosen St Athan as its center for electrification and the home of Lagonda production in a move that will create hundreds of high skilled jobs in the coming years. The UK has world leading expertise in manufacturing and developing low carbon vehicles and this investment is yet another vote of confidence in the our highly competitive automotive industry. My international economic department continues to work with investors to create jobs in all parts of the country, maintaining the UK’s position as Europe’s premier investment destination.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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