The first Aston Martin DBX rolled off the firm’s assembly line in south Wales today – and its success is critical to the future of the flagging luxury car firm.
The car brand has bet everything on the luxury SUV being a success as the firm has borrowed cash at extraordinary rates to fund it.
In September last year the car marker borrowed £120m at a staggering 12 per cent interest rate to help fund the final stages of the SUV’s production process.
If the SUV isn’t successful, the firm’s financial troubles will worsen and its survival is at stake.
The brand has already seen the departure of CEO Andy Palmer earlier this year and its share price has collapsed 98 per cent since its float two years ago.
The first Aston Martin to be ‘made in Wales’, the DBX attempts to incorporate the driver involvement found in the firm’s sports cars in a high-riding, off-road model.
It follows a similar pattern taken by other manufacturers, with the likes of Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Bentley all producing their own luxurious SUVs. All of those luxury car firms have had great success with their SUV models.
Keith Stanton, Aston Martin interim chief operating officer, said: ‘It is a real privilege to be here today to witness the completion of the first production Aston Martin DBX.
‘I’m extremely proud of the Aston Martin team who have worked so hard to transform this ex-Ministry of Defence site into a world-class car manufacturing facility, to now be producing cars, it is testament to the resilience and fortitude of everyone at Aston Martin.
‘It is an honour to see the first DBX come off the line and my only regret is that everyone who works for this incredible brand can’t be here to witness it.’
The first production DBX has been completed just over four years since Aston Martin announced its investment in the brand new manufacturing site in St Athan, providing a considerable boost to the local economy and creating 750 highly skilled jobs in the process.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: ‘This is a historic moment for Aston Martin and for Wales. It is also a huge win for the Welsh Government’s can-do attitude.
‘The DBX is an exceptional vehicle from one of the world’s most luxury car brands, and it will be central to this iconic company’s growth plan and ambitions for the future.
‘I could not be more proud to see this fantastic SUV being made in Wales and rolling off the production line. It also speaks volumes for the dedication and skills of the world class work force we have right here in Wales.’
First deliveries of the DBX to customers start later this month.
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