McLaren last produced its own road car, the F1, in 1998. The company began production on the road car in 1994, which was for a time the fastest production car ever made. A variant won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1995.
Since 2003, McLaren has been designing and manufacturing the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren line of sports cars with the German carmaker.
But the partnership has come to the end with the 75 cars that make up the total production of the 750,000-euro ($1m; £654,000) McLaren SLR Stirling Moss, which will be the last in the series.
By the time the new factory has been built, McLaren hopes that the automotive division should employ 800 people and produce 4,000 cars per year.
However, managing director Antony Sheriff told BBC News that initially it would manufacture just 1,000 cars per year.
"By the time the 12C is launched in 2011, we expect the economic conditions to be much improved," he said.
The 12C will compete in the market for cars costing between £125,000 and £175,000.
Mark Fulthorpe at the auto consultancy CSM Worldwide said that sales overall in that part of the market had been reasonably resilient.
"Lambourghini, Bentley and Aston Martin have all seen sales down, but Ferrari's orders books are full for its new California," he said.
"It's a pretty tough market place, but McLaren's background in racing is a good starting point."
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