Rapide move to

Britain

Aston Martin Rapide

THE exotic four door Aston Martin Rapide is to be made in Britain three years after it became the first of the company's cars to be built overseas.

Aston chief executive Dr Ulrich Bez has announced that from next year the car will be produced at the firm's headquarters at Gaydon in Warwickshire.

Since 2009 the £150,000 supercar has been made in Austria at a purpose-built facility at the Magna Steyr factory near Graz.

"In 2008 we had facility restrictions at Gaydon which indicated that production of Rapide at Gaydon would likely compromise production of our other cars," said Dr Bez. "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."

The Rapide is the first four-door, four-seat car Aston Martin has made. Last year the company sold 1,080 cars, down almost nine per cent on 2009 sales.

Work on the transfer will start immediately and the first Rapides should be built at Gaydon by the second half of 2012.

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