The forthcoming Aston Martin DBX crossover was recently reported as being considered for U.S. production. The earlier report though, referred to unnamed sources. Now a new report from Automotive News says that Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer himself, has strongly suggested U.S. production for the crossover saying that the state of Alabama is the “obvious choice” for it.
According to the report, Mr. Palmer expressed that the crossover’s core markets will be the U.S. and China, but locating a plant in China would be difficult due to the Chinese government’s policy of mandating a joint venture with a local company, and also, exporting vehicles from China is more difficult.
The company plans to increase its annual sales to 15,000 from 4,000 units last year. The reason Aston Martin is looking for building an overseas plant for the first time is that, the CEO says, building 15,000 cars annually will require three shifts at the Gaydon plant, leaving no time for stoppage for maintenance. Expanding the Gaydon facility is also an option.
If U.S. production is decided, the new plant will be built in the state of Alamaba because Mercedes-Benz also builds its SUVs at a plant in the same state in the town of Vance, and has a supplier base that it can readily tap. Daimler has a 5% stake in Aston Martin and it formed a technical partnership with the British exotic car maker in 2013, which allows the latter to source its electronics and V8 engines.
The CEO finds one of the major problems for on overseas plant is reproducing British craftsmanship elsewhere.
[Source: Automotive News]