Within the next few weeks Aston Martin will be submitting a formal planning application to Stratford on Avon District Council for the establishment at Gaydon in Warwickshire of a dedicated Research and Engineering Centre together with the construction of a new vehicle assembly facility.

The new Aston Martin complex will be located on the 900 acre site of the existing Land Rover test facility adjacent to Junction 12 of the M40 Motorway and within eleven miles of Bloxham.

In addition to the new facilities Aston Martin will gain access to Land Rover's Aerodynamic and Environmental Wind tunnels, extensive research laboratories and rig test facilities together with 26 miles of test roads including a 1.5 mile straight for vehicle performance testing.

At present Aston Martin has its design and development teams located at Newport Pagnell, Bloxham and in temporary accommodation in Coventry. The establishment of the new Research and Development Centre, which is scheduled to begin operation by the end of the year, will enable Aston Martin's Product Development Group which now includes more than 200 engineers to be progressively housed at one location.

This year and for the first time in its history, Aston Martin will build and sell a record 1000 new cars from its production centres at Newport Pagnell and Bloxham where more than £5million has been invested in the refurbishment and expansion of facilities during the past three years.

"If we are to remain successful, increase sales and generate revenue which will make us self-sufficient it is now crucial that we invest in a third product line," said Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin Chief Executive.

"We have made tremendous progress in the past eight years rising from just 46 new cars in 1992 to a projected 1000 this year. We have looked closely at both Newport Pagnell and Bloxham as potential sites for the new model but recognise that there is not sufficient space at either one of these locations to design, develop and produce an additional model together with the significant increases in production which are planned for both Newport Pagnell and Bloxham."

Development of the third model line is to begin immediately and will be in production within three to four years so that we can achieve the sales which will give us a major presence in the global markets and attract additional dealers for Aston Martin.