Aston Martin’s CEO, Andy Palmer, laid out his vision for the brand’s future at the Geneva Motor Show in March, but that was the easy part. Now he faces a crucial decision on where future models will be built.
Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Palmer told us that the firm was assessing several locations where it would build its first-ever ‘crossover’ model, based on the DBX Concept seen at Geneva. He confirmed that the locations included sites in the UK, across Europe and in America.
He added that Prime Minister David Cameron has told him he wants the new model to be built in the UK and he is prepared to make a facility, possibly in Wales, available to Aston.
“We have over 10 locations interested, including the UK, Europe and America. Where we choose will depend on how hard people are prepared to work to bring Aston to their country,” Palmer said.
Aston needs the extra facility, as the main Gaydon plant in Warks will be at full capacity building sports cars. But before he chooses the location, Palmer says he has to decide whether the new model will be based on an Aston platform or another maker’s platform.
One option is to choose a Mercedes SUV platform – Aston already has a partnership with Mercedes on engines. If Aston took that choice the car would probably be built in Alabama, where Mercedes has a factory.
A decision will be made by October. Said Palmer: “My head says build the factory where it is most profitable, my heart says in the UK. Wherever the crossover is built, it will be a game changer for Aston.”
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