Aston Martin Rapide production will move from Austria to the U.K. in 2012

Production of the Aston Martin Rapide will move to the U.K. in the second half of 2012 after having been built in Austria since reaching full production in 2010. Aston Martin's four door sports car has been built by Magna Steyr because it lacked sufficient production capability of its own.

The Aston Martin Rapide will be built at Aston Martin's Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire for the first time when the transfer is complete. Because the company didn't have enough production capability in 2008, Aston Martin contracted with Magna Steyr to produce its cars at its facilities in Austria.

Magna Steyr is a vehicle engineering and contract manufacturer to the automotive industry, providing everything from sunroofs for the Nissan Murano to assembly of the Chrysler Voyager minivan for European consumption. Magna Steyr established a dedicated facility for the manufacture of the Rapide--AMRP--and started up pre-production of the car in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The Rapide was built by Magna Steyr, according to Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez, because "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."

Three years later, said Bez, Gaydon "is more established, more flexible and more efficient."

Aston Martin's volume of cars hasn't changed significantly, but with eight model lines plus five variants instead of the three model lines with two variants in 2008, Rapide production can now be brought in-house, according to Bez.

Work is now beginning on making Aston Martin's facilities in Gaydon to meet the start of Rapide production there in the second half of 2012.


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