The New Aston Martin St. Athan Facility to Produce the Battery-Electric Rapide E
Aston Martin's new facility will create up to 750 high-skilled jobs and produce the all-electric Rapide E and Lagonda Vision Concept-derived SUVs.
Aston Martin announced Tuesday that its new St. Athan production facility in Wales will become the company’s “centre for electrification,” confirming that the company’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV), the Rapide E, will exclusively be produced at the new site alongside the newly-revived Lagonda brand of ultra-luxury limousine vehicles. The luxury automaker expects to create 750 jobs at the new facility.
The British luxury sports car company is adamant that the Lagonda vehicles developed here will be the “world’s first luxury marque exclusively driven by zero emission powertrain technologies.” The modern Lagonda Vision Concept was first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show this year, with its announced production start in 2021 aiming to bring that impressive new design language to tangible fruition in as little as three years.
The all-electric Rapide E, meanwhile, will commence production next year, as Aston Martin seems firmly committed to leading the charge in developing some of the world’s first ultra-luxurious and all-electric sports vehicles and thereby cementing itself as a brand in lockstep with the times. That is, at least Aston Martin’s President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Andy Palmer thinks so.
“Aston Martin sees itself as a 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,” Palmer said. “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.”
This is a huge boon for the local economy and, conceivably, for the environment in general. The production of Aston Martin’s new all-electric flagships won’t merely create a slew of new jobs, but will arguably aid in the fight against global carbon emissions, as well. For Britain’s International Trade Secretary Dr. Liam Fox, at least, it’s these two potential results that are most exciting.
“I’m delighted that Aston Martin has chosen St. Athan as its centre for electrification and the home of Lagonda production in a move that will create hundreds of high skilled jobs in the coming years,” he said. “The [U.K.] has world leading expertise in manufacturing and developing low carbon vehicles and this investment is yet another vote of confidence in our highly competitive automotive industry.”
In terms of this facility’s actual readiness, Aston Martin is currently in the third and final phase of construction. What was once the government’s property and served as a Ministry of Defense site is now an Aston Martin facility gearing up to produce all-electric luxury sports cars.
This conversion required the transformation of three super hangars into functional production facility spaces, with an additional investment of $65, 245,750 (50 million pounds) needed to turn St. Athans into the high-tech home of electrification it claims to be. Ultimately, the plant will create up to 750 high skilled jobs in South Wales over the next few years, with 150 already recruited and secured.