Aston Martin says Alabama is 'obvious choice' for US plant
Speaking with Automotive News Europe, company CEO Andy Palmer said that he and his team will make a decision on the prospect of building its second factory, and that the Yellowhammer State was the "obvious choice" for its location.
The possibility first came up on our radar last month, after Aston reportedly held discussions with representatives of state governments in the South. The plant would be earmarked to handle production of the DBX. Slated to be the company's first crossover, it was previewed in concept form at the Geneva show in March.
"Our principal customers will be in the United States and China," Palmer said to ANE. However, the US would apparently be preferable to building a plant in China, from which it would be more difficult to export vehicles to other markets and where Aston would need to form a joint venture with a local manufacturer.
The prospect of building its plant in the same state where Mercedes builds its SUVs would offer certain advantages as well: Aston has inked a deal with the German automaker to supply some systems and components. The British automaker has also long-been rumored to be considering building a crossover based on the same platform as the GL-Class (soon to be redubbed GLS), although that may or may not take the form of the DBX.
Aston Martin is working toward ramping up production from the 4,000 units it sold last year to as many as 15,000. "If we went to three shifts" at the current plant in Gaydon, said Palmer, "we would be at 15,000 a year, so theoretically we could do it but you'd have no room for stoppage for maintenance.
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