Aston Martin reveals plans to make its electric cars in UK

Car maker last month revealed losses almost quadrupled in 2020

FILE PHOTO: An Aston Martin logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019.  REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

Luxury British car maker Aston Martin has announced that it will make its fully electric vehicles in Britain from 2025, its chairman said, in a boost to the country's beleaguered auto sector.

Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll said a battery-powered sport utility vehicle and fully electric sports cars will be made at Aston plants in England and Wales.

James Bond's favourite car maker is 20 per cent owned by Mercedes-Benz and there were suggestions that Germany could have been chosen for production.

Aston plans to this year launch hybrid versions of its cars before producing its fully electric versions.

The SUV will be built in Wales and the battery-operated sports cars at its plant in Graydon, England, Mr Stroll told the Financial Review.

Meanwhile Stellantis, the new European car maker, is yet to decide over the future of a Vauxhall plant in England.

Formed in a merger of France's PSA and US-Italian rival Fiat Chrysler, Stellantis is said to be seeking financial incentives from the British government to produce a fully electric vehicle there.

Indian-owned Jaguar recently announced it would produce only electric vehicles from 2025, at its factory in England.

With Britain banning the sale of new high-polluting diesel and petrol cars from 2030, the country's largely foreign-owned car making sector must increasingly switch to producing fully electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, after much uncertainty, the UK automotive sector was a big winner from the recent Brexit agreement between London and Brussels, which allows for smooth, tariff-free trade.

But UK electric car exports will face tariffs from 2027 if they do not have most of their parts sourced from Britain or the EU.

Aston Martin last month revealed that its losses almost quadrupled in 2020.

Its fortunes have been hit also by coronavirus-related delays to James Bond spy blockbuster No Time To Die.

Bond films traditionally feature top-end Aston Martin cars that give the company a valuable marketing boost.

The company launched on the stock market in 2018 to great fanfare.

But losses almost doubled in 2019, as the group crashed on weak global demand linked also to a Chinese economic slowdown.

Aston later clinched a cash injection from Mr Stroll at the start of last year.

As part of the deal, the Racing Point Formula One team, whose drivers include Mr Stroll's son Lance, has rebranded as Aston Martin for the 2021 season.