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back to article Aston Martin to build new model abroad

Aston Martin has been forced by its own success to look for a site abroad to handle manufacture of its forthcoming four-door Rapide saloon, the Telegraph reports. The company's plant in Gaydon, Warwickshire, simply can't keep up with demand, which saw 7,000 examples of the marque roll off the production line last year - an …

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Right! That's it!

No more Astons for me!

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If its Valmet, Aston, say hello to Boxster

If they choose Uusikaupunki (Valmet), home to the Porsche Boxster and the former home of the Saab 9-3. It would be very good car.

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Anonymous Coward

It's funny how they can't keep up with demand...

Seeing as they recently closed a factory in Newport Pagnell.

Lets see, shortly after closing a factory they find themselves short of production capability and open a new factory abroad..

Pull the other one

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Boffin

Not sport old chap

In top gear and other prgrammes the Aston always got the old 'I like this' due to its heritage and its breeding, the engine signed, the leather polished by craftsmen in goold old blighty and the overall feeling of quality.

So their just going to offshore 93 years worth of skill and it wil all work?

I can see two types of Aston in the secondhand market

A) Built in Britain (£60k)

B) Built in turkey (£6k)

The aston lived by its brand, and so shall it die, what a shame its now just going to be a mondeo without a blue badge.

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Anonymous Coward

This isn't a big deal.

The old plant was closed by Ford. Aston Martin is no longer owned by Ford. The new plant (or, well, outsourced production line) won't even be making any of the cars we'd traditionally think of as an Aston Martin - fast, gorgeous, two-seat coupes and convertibles. The line in question is a 4-door car. No matter what Aston does, I don't think they're going to be able to cut in edgewise on the bulk of the performance saloon market - the Germans with their M5's and AMG Mercs have that market pretty well cut and dried.

The car in question will inevitably be an Aston Martin for people who (likely because they owned an Aston Martin) knocked up some dumb girl and are saddled with kids now. And that's just not what Astons are about. It's just a car for people who want the wings on the bonnet, but can't handle (for one reason or another) the true Aston experience. Unless there are some designers working at Aston Martin who can find some way to bend the laws of physics, there's NO WAY you can make a drivable saloon car look like a proper Aston Martin. You could, in theory, make it DRIVE like one, but when you buy a car in this class, you're looking for a totally different x-factor than a traditional Aston buyer is.

This car isn't an Aston Martin for Aston Martin drivers. It's an Aston Martin for stupid executives and footballers and TV presenters. And who really cares WHERE the cars for these soulless rats are made?

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Anonymous Coward

Not Valmet, says CEO

"We're not involved in this" said Valmet Automotive CEO, Juhani Suvinen, yesterday to YLE News.

"We usually won't comment anything until negotiations are finished, but this time we can say there aren't any."

Which means there really aren't any or they are really secret.

But the idea of outsourcing a quality car production isn't the brighest one I've heard: What happened when MB started to produce ML-models in Alabama, do you remember?

(They got Chrysler quality and tried to sell it with Mercedes price: Something that is doomed from the beginning. Major losses and ruined reputation soon followed.)

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Outsource a niche model? No big deal.

Aston outsourcing a niche model is really no big deal.

Every car manufacturer in the world, from Bristol to Toyota, uses outsourcing. Outsourcing assembly of low-volume models dates back to the days of coach-building, and has recently been embraced by BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes (although its M-class factory in Alabama is its own, not outsourced), Fiat, Volkswagen, Porsche and Vauxhall, among others.

Also, Aston Martin has a long history of producing four-door saloons (starting in 1927), though post-war they've typically been badged Lagonda. The Rapide is built on the same VH platform as the DB9 and V8 Vantage.

Incidentally, Aston's V12 engines are cast by a German company (Mahle) and assembled in Cologne.

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Bronze badge
Stop

This is addressed to ALL of you.

1. The Rapide model is, indeed, a 'proper' Aston. There was a 4 door Rapide model before, and this new Rapide is, essentially, a stretched DB-9.

2. Aston's factory at Newport Pagnell was low-tech to say the least. It closed when the Vanquish died.

3. It certainly will not be a "Mondeo without a blue badge". Aston is no longer owned by Ford, and this car will have no connection with the Mondeo, or any car of its class.

Lastly, a question. Why don't Aston just expand their facilities at Gaydon? Is the site? The staff? What's the problem?

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Bronze badge
Go

Mercedes/Alabama

Yup, that was hilarious, but merc quality has been getting a good slagging for a few years now - it's not like the good old days of the 190e, which you would make the comparative volvo look like a tinbox. 190s were the sort of car you could crash into a house from the front garden, and end up parked in the back garden shed wondering where that gritter was hitting you from.

Also, we aren't talking about moving production to an over-unionised, backwater shed - Karmann and Pininfarina are world class engineering companies, rather than just some prefab factory outlet.

Aston aren't stupid, and have survived some incredibly dangerous patches in their history, much like Jaguar.

I expect they will have something up their sleeves, they always seem to.

Like when Ford took over, everyone crying that they would dilute their values and go under. Hmm, yet they seem to me making [and *selling*] more cars than ever before now...

As long as it's not another DB7 clone...getting boring now guys.

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@Philip Marshall

> (Valmet) ... former home of the Saab 9-3. It would be very good car.

That's the Saab 9-3 that was based on the Mk 1 Vauxhall Vectra? A good car?

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Reasons for outsourcign production

I imagine the reason for outsourcing production rather than expanding is down to a few factors

1. It's a new model, if you outsource you dont have the outlay of a new factory and redundancies if the model fails.

2. It takes time to build a new factory and train a new workforce. If you want a car built quickly outsource it to other guys with the capacity.

From a business perspective it obviously makes sense for this model to be outsourced. And the outsourcing companies they are going for are some of the best engineering and design companies in the world.

Chris

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