Aston Martin are moving production of the Aston Martin Rapide from Magna Steyr in Austria back to Gaydon in 2012
It took Aston Martin what seemed like forever to get their four-door supercar – the Aston Martin Rapide – in to production, and even then they didn’t build it themselves.
When they were busy planning production of the Rapide the world’s economy was buoyant, credit was a piece of cake and Aston Martins were flying out of the showroom.
But the new economic reality bit in 2008 and sales fell at Aston Martin, but by then the plan to get the Rapide built at Magna Steyr in Austria was unstoppable so, despite Aston Martin workers twiddling their thumbs as Magna Steyr built Rapides, there as nothing to be done.
But it now looks as though AML has found a get-out-of-jail-free card floating around the Magna Rapide deal, and today they’ve announced that the Rapide is coming home to be produced in Gaydon from the second half of 2012.
Of course, there’s a nice shiny PR light on the whole business, with Aston Martin telling us that the Rapide went to Magna because of initial production restraints at Gaydon, where production of the Rapide would compromise production of other Astons.
AML boss, Ulrich Bez, said:
In 2008 we had facility restrictions at Gaydon which indicated that production of Rapide at Gaydon would likely compromise production of our other cars. We were not prepared to do this.
Now, three years on things are very different – Gaydon is more established, more flexible and more efficient. While our overall volume has not changed significantly, we now produce a far richer model mix – eight model lines (plus five variants) compared to three model lines (plus two variants) in 2008 – so Rapide production is now possible.
I would like to place on record our gratitude to Magna Steyr and their team of dedicated employees who have become part of the Aston Martin family in the last few years and met all our requirements and expectations.
All of which may well be true, but the fact that Aston Martin are actually building no more cars than they did in 2008 – and across twice as many models – tends to indicate that AML are keen to get production of the Rapide back to Gaydon to keep their workforce occupied.
I know. We’re just a bunch of cynics.