Everyone can soon breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Aston Martin's brand new St Athan factory in south Wales has been closed since March 24, but that will soon change. According to Reuters, the production plant, which happens to be home to the Aston Martin DBX SUV, is slated to reopen from its coronavirus lockdown on May 5. However, operations at its Gaydon factory where the rest of its lineup is built will resume at a later and currently unannounced date.
Ever since the lockdown began, company executives have been in talks with employees and trade unions regarding health and safety plans that would allow its factories to finally reopen. The St Athan facility will adopt health guidelines from the British and local governments. The fact that St Athan will be reopening in less than two weeks is very good news for an automaker still struggling financially.
The DBX must be a huge sales success as a majority of the world's luxury buyers are moving away from sports cars to SUVs. One of the main reasons why Porsche, for example, is able to have such a successful 911 program with many variants is because of strong Porsche Macan and Cayenne sales. Aston Martin aims to replicate that formula.
Earlier this month, Canadian billionaire and Formula 1 team owner Lawrence Stroll assumed his new role as the firm's executive chairman following the $657 million investment he led. Fellow investors include Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli and Mercedes-AMG F1 team principal Toto Wolff. The investment group has a 25 percent total stake in the automaker.
Because of these tough times, Aston's senior leadership has also announced they're taking voluntary pay cuts between 5 and 35 percent. Stroll himself will only pay himself a salary of 1 GBP per year. A majority of the company's employees remain furloughed. Hopefully, next month's production restart of the all-important DBX will lead to more employees returning to work.