Aston Martin opens new factory to build key first SUV

'A hugely important milestone'

2021 Aston Martin DBX
2021 Aston Martin DBX
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ST ATHAN, Wales — Aston Martin opened a new factory in Wales on Friday to build the British automaker's first sport utility vehicle, key to its hopes of a turnaround after a poor performance this year sent shares tumbling.

Aston launched its DBX model last month, hoping that more female buyers will help boost sales after a year in which it has so far posted a pre-tax loss due to weaker-than-expected demand for its sports cars, particularly in Europe.

"The opening ... is a hugely important milestone in the company’s growth plan and integral to our ambitions as a global luxury brand with a presence in all major sectors of the market," said Chief Executive Andy Palmer.

The St Athan site near Cardiff in south Wales is the 106-year-old firm's second car plant after its existing site in Gaydon, central England.

Aston has seen its share price fall by around 75% since a stock market flotation in October 2018 as the global automotive industry faces the challenge of falling demand in several important markets and the need to spend more electrification.

On Thursday, Autocar magazine reported that Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, owner of Formula One team Racing Point, is preparing a bid for a major stake in Aston Martin, prompting its shares to rally.

Aston declined to comment on the report.

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