In case you hadn't noticed, Aston Martin is on something of a high at the moment. Last year it made £87m profit, which is impressive when you consider than in 2016 it made a pre-tax loss of £163m. That was in part thanks to demand for the DB11; this year, it has the new Vantage. It also has game-changing ambition, as evidenced by its new manufacturing facility in Wales, which is due to open next year - just in time to start building the SUV-shaped DBX.
Now it turns out that the firm's footprint will be getting bigger still, with the announcement that Aston Martin will open two additional sites: one in central London for meetings and events (in other words, somewhere which doesn't involve international VIPs schleping up to Gaydon) and, much more importantly, a new Test and Development Centre at Silverstone.
The latter is significant because it means that the home of the British Grand Prix will become Aston Martin's hub for prototype vehicle testing. Its proximity to Gaydon - and also the logistic facility at Wellesbourne - naturally worked in Silverstone's favour, as did the obvious connection to the manufacturer's extensive (and ongoing) motorsport heritage.
"Automotive brand centres have always been a big part of Silverstone's diversification plans and I am delighted to be in a position to announce that Aston Martin have chosen Silverstone as the location to open their new testing and development centre," said Stuart Pringle, the Managing Director of Silverstone.
Despite the geographical convenience of the new centre, Aston Martin says it will continue to make use of its existing facility at the Nurburgring, although Silverstone has already been dubbed the 'home' of dynamic testing and development by CEO Andy Palmer.
Matt Becker, Aston's chassis boss, added: "Every true performance car company needs a reference circuit and I can think of none more suitable than Silverstone. It is the perfect location to develop the next-generation of Aston Martins." The facility will be based at the Stowe Circuit, which will be the primary venue for exclusive testing (although it will have access to other track configurations). The firm expects to have around 60 employees based there from October this year.