Aston Martin Is Looking For A Location To Build Its First Crossover
The flourishing crossover/SUV market has attracted a large number of carmakers in recent years. Porsche and BMW are two companies that made massive profits by offering crossovers, but the list actually includes the majority of mainstream automakers. Soon, we’ll see supercar brand Lamborghini and luxury manufacturer Bentley roll out their own SUVs. Aston Martin will also join the ranks of premium brands offering an SUV, but the Brits still have a few problems to solve, including finding a location for a new factory.
Aston’s main problem with the upcoming DBX crossover lies in its only factory in Gaydon, England, which has no room for expansion. As a result, the brand is evaluating "multiple global locations" for a new facility, according to Automotive News, quoting a company spokesman. The company is considering locations in the U.K. and U.S., including a former air force hangar in Wales and Mercedes’ plant in Vance, Alabama.
Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has previously said that the Alabama site is an "obvious choice" because the brand’s partner, Daimler, already builds Mercedes SUVs there, but the Brits have yet to confirm they will build crossovers in the U.S. What I do know is that Aston Martin plans to build about 3,000 crossovers a year, for which Daimler should have enough room in Alabama.
Aston Martin is expected to pick a new location by the end of the year. The DBX is rumored to arrive sometime in 2019.
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Why it matters
Aston Martin’s issues with producing the DBX in Gaydon confirms that expanding as an independent automaker is a complicated thing. While the likes of Porsche and Lamborghini can use several Volkswagen Group plants to build their crossovers (which share many components with other models wearing various badges), Aston Martin needs to build a new assembly line unless it uses a Mercedes-Benz platform for its upcoming crossover, and Andy Palmer has already confirmed that the DBX won’t be built on Daimler underpinnings. It’s too early to make assumptions, but this could open up new opportunities for the Brits. And by "opportunities" I mean a second crossover. Since Porsche and BMW did it and Bentley will likely do it as well, I don’t see why Aston Martin wouldn’t want to expand even further in this profitable market.
Find out more about the Aston Martin DBX Concept here.
Source: Automotive News