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Aston Martin has announced that its second UK manufacturing plant, at St Athan in Wales, has begun producing cars.
At the moment, pre-production versions of the luxury brand's first-ever SUV, the DBX, are rolling down the lines at the 90-acre facility, which is a former Ministry of Defence site in the principality.
St Athan was first announced as Aston's second UK manufacturing facility in 2016 and since then, the whole site - including three 'super hangars' - has been transformed into a modern manufacturing location.
The factory's opening has seen the creation of 200 jobs and is expected to realise 550 more directly, while a further 3,000 roles will be created across the supply chain and local businesses as a result of St Athan's commencement of production.
The Welsh site will be the sole production facility for the DBX, while it will also manufacture Aston Martin's Lagonda products, as well as all of the wider Aston Martin Lagonda group's electrified vehicles. Real-world testing of the DBX, due to be unveiled at the end of 2019, began on the roads of Wales last year, while it has also been to the Arctic Circle and the Nürburgring Nordschleife as part of its development.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda's president and group CEO, said: "This is an exciting time for Aston Martin Lagonda. Our second luxury manufacturing facility is now producing cars and is ready to go into full production in H1 2020. Our facilities and manufacturing teams, led by vice-president and chief manufacturing operations officer Keith Stanton, have done an outstanding job in getting the factory ready almost a year before full production starts, on time and on budget."