#CarNews: 007 carmaker Aston Martin to open new factory


British carmaker Aston Martin — James Bond’s favourite set of wheels — on Wednesday said it had picked Wales as the site for a second plant due to begin production in 2020.

Output at the plant will include the new DBX crossover model that incorporates SUV features, as the classic brand attempts to diversify including into a line of electric cars.

The plant will be in the village of St Athan on former defence ministry land and complements the current plant at Gaydon in central England.

“Aston Martin is an iconic British brand and the decision to invest here shows real confidence in our economy,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement announcing the deal.

“With our economic strengths and easy access to European markets, the UK automotive sector is thriving,” he said, as he campaigns for Britain to stay in the European Union ahead of a membership referendum on June 23.

The carmaker had considered potential sites in the rest of Britain and abroad.

Chief executive Andrew Palmer said the board had been “consistently impressed with the focus on quality, cost and speed from the Welsh government team”.

The new plant is part of a £200-million (253-million-euro, $278-million) investment plan raised from private investors last year.

Aston Martin is forecasting that more than 90 percent of production at the Welsh site will be for export.

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