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Aston Martin to close Newport Pagnell, Bloxham

Luxury sportscar maker Aston Martin, part of the Ford Premier Automotive Group, plans to cease production at its Newport Pagnell, Bucks, and Bloxham, Oxon, plants and switch assembly to a new facility.

Chief executive Ulrich Bez said management had started discussing the decision with its 600 workers.

The move would see DB7 and Vanquish production move to Gaydon in Warwickshire, where a new entry-level model, codenamed AM305, would also be built. Gaydon is already home to PAG Group sister company Land Rover.

"We will stop assembling cars in the mid to long term at the current sites," said Mr Bez.

He believes the transfer, due to be completed by 2007/8, would enable Aston Martin to expand more rapidly, with output rising threefold to around 5,000 cars a year.

Newport Pagnell, home to Aston Martin for 50 years, has been earmarked for a service and repair facility, while Bloxham could become a motorsport development centre.

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