According to a Financial Times report, Aston Martin has promised to build all its electric cars in the UK from 2025. The vehicles will be assembled in South Wales and Warwickshire.
The British automaker, which is headquartered in Gaydon, Warwickshire, was given a bailout and change of direction in January 2020 when a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll bought a 25 per cent stake in the company.
Now, Stroll has told the Financial Times about the company’s plans to build its electric models in the UK from 2025. An electric SUV will be made at its own facilities in Gaydon and St Athan, South Wales, rather than at Mercedes-Benz’s facilities in Germany; Mercedes-Benz owns a 20 per cent stake in Aston Martin. Stroll said: “The SUV will be built in Wales and the sports cars will be built [in Gaydon].”
Aston Martin plans to launch hybrid versions of its cars beginning this year, with a hybrid version of the DBX, which may yet be renamed. It plans to launch battery-only models from 2025. The designs have not yet been finalised, but Stroll implied that they would retain the classic shape and bespoke interiors associated with the luxury brand.
Stroll told the Financial Times that Aston Martin is “way ahead of [its] rivals and all because of [its] partnership with Mercedes.” Mercedes, which supplies some engines and other components, could provide batteries for these vehicles.
Aston Martin, like many other automakers, has struggled through the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been forced to lay off 500 UK employees and accumulated losses of £466m before taxes (up from £120m the previous year). Stroll told the Financial Times that the company has already sold out of sports cars until September 2021 and out of the DBX until July.
The UK plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 and hybrids from 2035, forcing automakers to accelerate the phase-out of vehicles with internal combustion engines. Ford announced last month that it will only sell electric cars in the UK and EU by 2030, while Jaguar aims to reach this landmark by 2025. Volvo and Bentley both plan to only offer electric cars by 2030. Aston Martin’s rivals in the luxury automotive market, McLaren and Lamborghini, are yet to set electrification targets. Ferrari has committed to making electric models by 2030.
Meanwhile, Stellantis (previously PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler) is still in discussions about whether to manufacture electric vehicles at its Ellesmere Port factory in Cheshire. The company has requested financial aid to support EV battery manufacturing and commitments on post-Brexit trade of automotive components such as batteries. Analysts believe that the government will need to invest heavily in domestic manufacturing of EV batteries, with the establishment of large-scale production facilities in the style of Tesla’s ‘Gigafactories’. Union officials estimate the UK will require at least seven such plants to support the phase-out of internal combustion engines.