Despite a shortlist that included North America, Eastern Europe and elsewhere in the UK, the James Bond car manufacturer’s secret mission has led it to St Athan in South Wales. And now, Aston Martin’s new, sporty 4X4, the DBX, is set to start rolling off the production line in the second half of 2019.
“St Athan was one of the locations that was proposed early in the process,” says Simon Sproule, chief marketing officer at Aston Martin. “In fact, St Athan was the first site that I visited and it was very impressive. It’s very rare that the first house you see is the one you buy.”
The 90-acre site has all the space the car manufacturer requires: there are three well-maintained aircraft hangars to house production; it has office buildings and the infrastructure needed for manufacturing projects; there’s also parking for more than 600 employees.
It’s a shot in the arm for the entire South Wales area, because when the first DBX hits the road, the Aston Martin factory will have around 750 directly employed workers.
Sproule praises the partnership approach adopted by the Welsh Government, acknowledging both the financial incentives and business support that ministers have offered. “If it was just down to the amount of cash being offered, Wales was not the richest offer,” he says.
“But the whole package put forward by the Welsh Government was the best.” Sproule says this included financial support, the high quality of facilities, having an engaged and supportive government, access to labour and skills, and strong transport links. “It just added up to a very compelling package,” he says. “We were prepared to go overseas, but in the end it is great that we’ve maintained production here in the UK.”
To find out more about moving your business to Wales, visit the Trade and Invest website
*All content was commissioned and approved by Trade and Invest Wales