Aston Martin Rapide Coming Home!
You might not know this, but Aston Martin Rapide was born years before the Porsche Panamera, but it was produced and launched a few years after the German rival. That’s because Aston wasn’t ready to make it at that time, their factory had limitations and making the Rapide could have collided with the production of the sportscars.
They finally let a subcontractor pick up the job and Magna Styr of Austria became the actual manufacturer of the Rapide. They are still doing it, but starting from 2012 Aston Martin will bring back the British saloon home, to the Gaydon plant.
They are now ready with a bigger factory and more equipments to make a lineup of eight cars. This might also have a slight effect on the pricing of the car as well.
Aston press release:
Aston Martin today confirms that production of the four-door sports car; Rapide will move to the company’s Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire, UK in the second half of 2012.
In 2008, due to constraints at Gaydon and after conclusion of a six-month feasibility study, Aston Martin appointed Magna Steyr as a partner to produce the car at its facilities in Austria. A dedicated facility – AMRP – at Magna Steyr’s facilities was then established with pre-production of the Rapide starting in Q4 2009 before the car reached full production in 2010. Since then Aston Martin and Magna Steyr have enjoyed a very positive working relationship with production of the Rapide reaching benchmark quality standards and the car proving a strong success with customers and critics alike.
Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr 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.”
Work on readying Aston Martin’s Gaydon headquarters for Rapide will begin immediately with a view to production commencing in the second half of 2012.