UK-based Premier Automotive Group brands will be substantially consolidated at Ford’s recently-acquired research and development site in Gaydon, Warwickshire, according to a senior executive.

Land Rover chief Bob Dover told just-auto that he expected that Gaydon would be the manufacturing base for Aston Martin, as previouly announced, with all R&D there within a few years. The current Newport Pagenell (near Milton Keynes) and Bloxham (near Banbury) factories would eventually close.

All Land Rover R&D was also now concentrated at Gaydon [the manufacturing plant is in Solihull, about 45 minutes’ drive away].

However, Jaguar R&D would not move to create a PAG campus similar to the one in Irvine, California, “because we have too much invested in Castle Bromwich [Birmingham, where the S-type is made] and Witley [Coventry, the main Jaguar R&D centre],” Dover said.

However, he added, any substantial new investment in R&D equipment – new dynamometer testers or a wind tunnel – would be made only at Gaydon, the former RAF bomber airfield which became British Leyland’s main development facility in the 1970s.

Ownership passed to BMW when it bought Rover in 1996 and a huge, ultra-modern design centre was opened on the campus during the German company’s tenure.

Ford acquired Gaydon in October 2000 when it bought Land Rover and has been steadily moving as much PAG development and testing work there as possible. Ford also acquired the adjacent Heritage Motor
Centre car museum and conference centre which is home to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust vehicle collection.