The EV-capable DBX crossover will be one of Aston Martin’s seven new models being developed as part of its second century plan. It will be aimed primarily at the American and Chinese markets, and be built at a separate factory, in Wales.
According to global chief Andy Palmer, the DBX could hold the lion's share of all sales by the time Aston Martin's new model range is completely unveiled.
Aston, which over the last few years has struggled to turn around its declining sales of around 4000 units per year globally, expects to increase that to roughly 14,000 by around 2022-23. Palmer says the current factory at Gaydon is simply not capable of producing that many cars.
“7000 sports cars, that’s the capacity of Gaydon. I can’t make any more than that, that’s why I explicitly decided not to increase the capacity of Gaydon and [instead] built a new factory in Wales,” Palmer told us at last week’s Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
“That’s the factory that will build the DBX, it’s not open until 2019. That’s kind of a copy and paste of the Gaydon facility so it has a capacity of about 7000 vehicles, so you see where we are trying to get to.”
The numbers would seem high at first, but the success of the similarly-positioned Bentley Bentayga SUV, with demand completely outstripping supply, may in fact suggest Aston Martin has geared up appropriately.
“The issue is no one actually knows how big that luxury SUV segment is because, apart from Bentayga now, it doesn’t exist,” Palmer said.
Palmer says that while the success of the Bentayga has been motivating, Aston has been working on the DBX project for some time.
“We started before it was announced, we started four days after I joined the company in terms of the DBX, now of course we are motivated that the industry is moving in that direction and each time someone comes to the party and announces their luxury SUV, it reinforces that there is a customer there… even though I would say it’s pretty obvious.”
He pointed out markets such as China and North America will be the prime focus for the DBX.
“[It’s] a race for all of us to get our car into that segment and Bentayga has so far been very successful,” he said.