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Third Aston Martin planned

Aston Martin, which like Volvo is a Ford Premier Automotive Group carmaker, is to develop a third model and raise annual production from 1,000 to 2,500 units.

A production plant and research and development centre will be built at Gaydon, the former Rover facility acquired by Ford in the Land Rover deal.

Aston Martin is seeking local authority planning permission. Ford wants to price the car at around £65,000/85,000, placing it between its cheapest Aston Martin DB7 and top Jaguar XK sportscar. Sales should start in 2003 or 2004.

Elrich Bez, Aston Martin chief executive, said the company had made tremendous progress over the past eight years, with production rising from 46 units.

“It is now crucial that we invest in a third product line if we are to remain successful, increase sales and generate revenue,” he said.

Over the past three years Aston Martin has invested more than £5m in its production centres at Bloxham (close to Gaydon) and Newport Pagnell.

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