Aston Martin has officially opened the doors to its brand spanking new factory in St Athan, Wales. The plant will produce the DBX SUV and a range of electric vehicles under the revived Lagonda luxury brand, with production of the former due to kick off in May.

The site of a former Royal Air Force (RAF) maintenance base and training facility, the new factory is set to employ up to 600 people once full production commences, with the total number rising to 750 at its peak – at which point the plant is expected to build up to 100 cars a week.

Vehicles coming out of St Athan will be hand-built with the help of modern technologies, just like the sports cars that will continue to be built in Gaydon. The first 40 Welsh recruits, who were hired just six months after the company announced it had purchased the site from the British ministry of defence, learned on the job by building DB11s at the company’s headquarters, and are now training new employees at St Athan.

Using the existing three super-hangars as a base, Aston transformed the site in the three years since it bought it, adding offices and reception areas and converting and outfitting the hangars in time for the start of pre-production earlier this year. Most of Welsh production will be exported overseas, with around 90% of DBX’s sales projected to come from other countries.

“Opening our new manufacturing facility at St Athan today is a pivotal day for Aston Martin and a vote of confidence in the UK, with the facility projected to employ up to 750 highly-skilled workers at its peak,” said president and CEO Andy Palmer. “St Athan is a critical step in delivering our new car, DBX, which will be built in the new facility. The opening of St Athan is a hugely important milestone in the company’s growth plan and integral to our ambitions as a global luxury brand with a presence in all major sectors of the market.”