McLaren Opens New $65 Million Plant That Only Makes Carbon Fiber Chassis
McLaren will need the Composites Technology Center to achieve its goal of 18 new models by 2025.
McLaren announced Wednesday that it has opened a second manufacturing facility, its £50 million ($65 million USD) Composites Technology Center in Yorkshire, England.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 75,000 square-foot building, built over a coal mine, was attended by local shareholders and city council members, along with 50 of the plant's first employees. Dignitaries such as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Bahraini crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalif (a significant portion of McLaren is Bahraini-owned) aided McLaren executive Mike Flewitt in the unveiling of the building's carbon fiber plaque.
"It was an honor for myself and all of the 2,300 people at McLaren Automotive to host The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of The Kingdom of Bahrain, to officially open the MCTC and to show them the process we are innovating for the production of carbon fiber," stated Flewitt in the company's release. "They met some of the extraordinary, creative, and passionate people we already have working here who are making that ambition a reality."
The MCTC, as McLaren refers to it, is the automaker's second purpose-built manufacturing facility outside of its headquarters at the McLaren Technology Center (MTC). Its 50 employees are already developing prototype carbon fiber tubs for the next generation of McLaren's already immeasurably-fast supercars, of which the company intends to launch 18 by 2025. Trial manufacture of tubs will begin in 2019, and McLaren expects the facility to commence full-scale production in 2020. Chassis manufactured here will be shipped to the MTC for assembly into complete McLarens.
Domestic production will increase the proportion of money spent on British-built components from an average of 50 percent to an average of 58 percent. The MCTC is anticipated to add over 200 jobs and contribute a gross £100 million ($130 million USD) to the local economy by 2028.
The MCTC will offer McLaren growth potential to beat its own record sales, which amounted to 3,340 cars in 2017. Expansion of the marque's dealership network across the globe meant that the company outsold Lamborghini in the United States in 2017, though the launch of the Lamborghini Urus crossover since makes a repeat of that performance unlikely.
- RELATEDMcLaren 720S Shifts So Fast Even Advanced Data Loggers Can't Keep UpThe highly advanced, dual-clutch automatic in the 720S proves its extreme capabilities.READ NOW
- RELATEDMcLaren Officially Returning to 2019 Indianapolis 500 With Fernando Alonso Behind the WheelThe team and its star pilot are returning to complete some unfinished business at the oval classic.READ NOW
- RELATEDFirst McLaren Speedtail Prototype Is Named 'Albert.' Yes, AlbertNo, it's not named after Prince Albert II of Monaco, although we'll forgive you for thinking so.READ NOW
- RELATEDFord Will Use Graphene-Reinforced Parts in Production CarsThough hard to manufacture, graphene's wondrous properties will finally be exploited in the automotive industry on a commercial scale by Ford.READ NOW
- RELATEDCarbon Fiber's Days As the Car World's Lightweight Miracle Material May Be NumberedThe miraculous substance has never reached widespread use in mass-market automotive construction. Now, it might never happen.READ NOW