Aston Martin has announced that production of its Rapide will move to the company’s Gaydon headquarters in Warwickshire, UK. The four-door sports car is now built by Magna Steyr (MS) in Graz, Austria. The shift will happen in the second half of 2012 and preparation work is underway.

The V12 powered Rapide is the first Aston not to be build in England. In 2008, due to constraints at Gaydon and after conclusion of a six-month feasibility study, Aston Martin appointed MS to hand build the £140,000 car. A dedicated facility at MS’ plant was then set up with pre-production of the Rapide starting in Q4 2009. Full production started in 2010.

“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,” Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez explained.

“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,” Bez added.