Every high-priced automaker that’s any high-priced automaker has a luxury ute in its line-up. Aston Martin just joined that group as its long-awaited DBX rolled off the assembly line in Wales.
Luxury and sport car makers have been adding SUVs to their portfolios for more than a decade, starting with the Porsche Cayenne, taking advantage of the ongoing rise of ute sales and add big bucks to their bottom lines in the process.
In Aston’s case, it needs big cash — now. The DBX is expected to quickly become the brand’s best-selling model, as is often the case when a high-end manufacturer adds a utility vehicle to its car-laden collection of offerings.
The DBX is basically the only thing that survived after Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll agreed to spend 182 million pounds, or about $240.2 million, to acquire 16.7% ownership stake in the company. Shortly after his arrival, top executive Andy Palmer was out and his ambitious plans were all put on hold, except the DBX.
With its all-wheel drive system, DBX is a car that will allow the company to increase its presence in markets where perhaps the weather or terrain is less than conducive to rear-wheel drive sports cars.
The clear emphasis on a spacious and luxurious cabin – whether seated in the front or back – will also allow Aston Martin to better reach customers who prefer to be driven rather than drive.
“It is a real privilege to be here today to witness the completion of the first production Aston Martin DBX,” said Aston Martin Interim Chief Operating Officer Keith Stanton during the celebration for the first DBX.
“I’m extremely proud of the Aston Martin team who have worked so hard to transform this ex-Ministry of Defense site into a world-class car manufacturing facility, to now be producing cars, it is testament to the resilience and fortitude of everyone at Aston Martin. It is an honor to see the first DBX come off the line and my only regret is that everyone who works for this incredible brand can’t be here to witness it.”
The DBX, like all Astons, is a hand-built vehicle. It’s bit ironic given the technological wizardry that makes up many of the vehicle’s systems. The company expects to export 80% of the utes it makes at its St. Athan plant in Wales. Deliveries begin next month.
The DBX was third in a seven-vehicle plan put forth by Palmer aimed at turning the company around, the fourth being the now-delayed RapidE. Stroll also suspended plans for electric vehicles and to grow the Lagonda line-up.