Aston Martin opts for Welsh plant after global search

British luxury car manufacturer maker Aston Martin has opted to build a new plant in Wales after a year-long exploration of 20 other possible site across the world.

Aston Martin
The new plant at St Athan, near Cardiff, which will make the new DBX crossover model, is part a £200 million investment aimed at expanding Aston Martin's product range, which has failed to turn a profit since 2010.About 750 new jobs are expected to be directly created – plus another 1,000 in the supply chain – as a result of the decision, which was made after the company considered other possible sites in the US, eastern Europe and elsewhere in the UK.Sales of cars made by Aston Martin, a century-old company whose owners include Italian private equity group Investindustrial and Kuwait's Tejara Capital, have suffered since the financial crash. The resurgence in luxury car sales in recent years appears to have left behind the makers of James Bond's famous DB5 because of a shortage of a prominent global presence.Andrew Palmer, Aston Martin's chief executive, told BBC Radio Wales that the company had chosen Wales for its new plant because it was "the best offer".He added, "I don't simply mean in terms of money. What really swung it was the passion and the professionalism of the people we dealt with in Wales. During our 103-year history, Aston Martin has become famous for making beautiful hand-crafted cars in England."Through a detailed evaluation of over 20 potential global locations for this new manufacturing facility, we were consistently impressed with the focus on quality, cost and speed from the Welsh government team."As a great British company, we look forward to St Athan joining Gaydon (in Warwickshire) as our second centre of hand-crafted manufacturing excellence."Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said, "I am delighted to officially welcome Aston Martin to Wales. We have been working closely with the company for almost two years in the face of fierce competition from other potential sites across the world."Our success today is testament to the reputation, dedication and skills of the Welsh workforce, all qualities that are synonymous with such a luxury, hand-crafted brand as Aston Martin."Today is the start of a long-term relationship between Wales and Aston Martin. We will work together in building on the strong foundations of our partnership to nurture a prosperous and rewarding future for this iconic company and its skilled workforce in Wales."Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb described Aston Martin's decision as an "enormous boost" for Wales and the British car industry."It is a genuine example of a 'one nation' achievement, with both the UK and Welsh governments working together to attract this prestige manufacturer to Welsh shores," he said.

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