There are few brands more quintessentially British than Aston Martin, but could the maker of some of the most beautiful sports cars on the planet start production in the U.S.? While it may seem like an odd move, just this week another struggling sports car manufacturer from the U.K., Lotus, announced plans to build cars in China.
Now, the Financial Times, citing a source familiar with the matter, is reporting that several U.S. states are courting Aston Martin and are offering up some significant incentives such as land and tax breaks. Apparently the states are keen to attract new automakers after some existing ones moved sites to Mexico.
Another option for Aston Martin would be to convert a former Jaguar plant located near its current facility back in the U.K.—a deal that could already be signed off. Recently, Aston Martin announced it had received committed support of up to £6.9 million (approximately $10.4 million) from the British government, conditional on investments in new products aimed at export markets.
"Expanding our product range to enable a greater reach into export markets is an essential part of our Second Century business plan,” Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said of the investment from the British government. “Having this support from the government to help execute the plan is a meaningful vote of confidence in the future of the company.”
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Under the Second Century plan mentioned by Palmer, Aston Martin will focus on delivering a new wave of products that are being developed under the largest investment plan in its 102-year history. By the end of the decade, every model in the current lineup will be replaced and up to three new models lines added.
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Aston Martin built around 4,000 cars last year but hopes to get this up to its pre-GFC level of 7,000 cars once its new generation of sports cars, starting with a DB9 replacement in 2016, arrive on the scene. On top of this, Aston is also looking to build 3,000 units of a new sedan model. That would fill capacity at its current plant in the U.K., thus leaving no room for its planned SUV based on the recent DBX concept car. It’s not clear what the third model line will be but it could be a new electric car, based on additional comments made by Palmer at this week's 2015 Shanghai Auto Show.
“The Second Century plan not only delivers exciting and highly desirable new luxury sports cars in the traditional sense, but also embraces new powertrain technology,” he explained. “I have challenged not only convention but also my team to investigate an electric version of the Rapide.”