“A SECOND PRODUCTION FACILITY AT ST ATHANS IN WALES WILL OPEN SOON”
A partnership of automation and human input installs the driveline, suspension, brakes, electronics, wiring looms, interior, glass, with rigorous inspections and microscopic quality checks conducted throughout the process.
Every seventh car is subjected to inspection through the CCM machine, where nodes and probes dart all over it to make sure it is within strict and tight tolerances.
Before its final sign off by an inspector and the almost ceremonial placing of the Aston Martin moniker on the front – made by Vaughtons, a Birmingham jeweller using a complex 21-stage process – every car is subjected to a rolling road test which replicates anything that can be done on the road, in an environment where the cars don’t risk stone chips or other damage. And it’s done in a way that can be regulated and controlled.
Production at the Gaydon factory, where all models are built, is capped at 7000 units annually to maintain the exclusivity of the brand, which is why it took until 2009 to sell its 50,000th vehicle after starting way back in 1913.
A second production facility at St Athans in Wales will open soon where the DBX SUV will be produced.
Although it sits on an old RAF Airforce base – they recently named one model the Vulcan, after the bomber aircraft – there is no test track at Gaydon. Aston uses test facilities throughout Europe and the UK to develop each model and as with its manufacturing, the process is rigorous, costly and time consuming. Aston wouldn’t have it any other way.
Just as our tour ended, the lunch bell sounded and in an orderly manner the staff downed their tools, turned off the sewing machines, shut down the trolleys and forklifts and the factory fell silent. Even the robots took a well-earned break.