Aston Martin eyeing US for crossover SUV production, says report

By REUTERS | 20 May 2015

DETROIT: Aston Martin will decide whether to add production at another plant by the end of the year and it would likely be in the United States, the British luxury sports car maker's chief executive told Automotive News.

CEO Andy Palmer told the industry publication on Tuesday that the US state of Alabama is the "obvious choice" for a new plant to build the upcoming DBX crossover SUV, but a decision has not been made. The SUV is expected by 2019.

Aston Martin is 5 percent owned by German automaker Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), whose Mercedes brand assembles SUVs at a plant in Alabama. Aston Martin's main shareholders are private-equity groups, Investment Dar of Kuwait and Italy's Investindustrial.

DBX Concept_11

In March, Aston Martin announced plans for the DBX SUV that could draw heavily on its partnership with Daimler, whose CEO previously indicated a readiness to share SUV architecture with Aston.

An Aston Martin spokesman could not immediately be reached to comment.

Palmer said Aston Martin has narrowed potential production locations to regions where it sells the most DBX models, including the US and Chinese markets, according to Automotive News. He said any US production site would likely build the DBX from kits using parts made at the company's factory in Gaydon, England, the publication said.

Held back by aging models and weak investment, Aston has missed out on a global luxury car boom. Last year it delivered 4,000 cars, far short of its 7,300 record in 2007.