· McLaren Automotive ’s range of highly efficient, high-performance sports cars confirmed at McLaren Technology Centre (MTC)
· New £40 million McLaren Production Centre (MPC) set to become showcase for the UK’s manufacturing and technology industries
· Up to 300 new jobs confirmed
Major investment and job opportunities in the UK’s high-tech manufacturing industry were confirmed today (March 18), as McLaren Automotive announced details of its range of innovative high-performance sports cars and the start of construction of the McLaren Production Centre (MPC).
The MPC, a 32,000m² high-tech manufacturing facility located at McLaren Group’s headquarters in Woking, England, began construction on March 1 2010 following a design from Foster + Partners, the same architects behind the award-winning McLaren Technology Centre (MTC). The new facility will be completed in just 12 months, with the first MP4-12C high-performance sports cars moving through the MPC production line in spring 2011.
Ron Dennis, Chairman of McLaren Automotive said: “We have long held the dream of building a range of McLaren high-performance sports cars that take the raw elements of Formula 1 principles, processes and performance and forge them into a unique package; one that offers customer-focused requirements of quality, efficiency, comfort and reliability.
“Today’s announcements confirm our intention to challenge convention at the highest levels of automotive design, from a high-tech home that I am proud to say will deliver jobs, expertise and innovation in manufacturing and engineering.
“In my first season at McLaren in 1981 we were an operation of 50 people dedicated solely to winning motor races. Since then, we have grown to a company of over a thousand that is, I believe, at the forefront of the UK’s innovative manufacturing industries. Everything we have achieved as a well-honed and fiercely competitive team over the past 30 years has prepared us for this moment.
“It is with great confidence, and genuine excitement that we move forward with our plans to open up a new chapter for McLaren and the UK’s modern manufacturing industries,” Dennis concluded.
Funding for the £40 million investment has come from McLaren Automotive’s existing shareholders, whilst a new shareholding offer will support future development programs for a range of McLaren high-performance sports cars that will be launched soon after the 12C.
The MPC will be the home of McLaren Automotive’s range of high-performance and highly efficient sports cars, supporting up to 800 jobs and manufacturing around 4,000 cars by the middle of the decade. New standards of quality will be introduced into the sports car market, as well as innovative new technologies unique to McLaren. All components on the cars are bespoke to McLaren.
The first 12C customer cars will be completed in the Production Hall at the McLaren Technology Centre in late-2010, approximately three months before production transfers to the brand new McLaren Production Centre. They will follow the same build and quality processes that McLaren Automotive developed for the £300,000-plus carbon-fiber based Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.
However, in a revolutionary step that allows the 12C to retail at around half that price point, McLaren will introduce an innovative one-piece carbon-fiber chassis structure: the first time such a lightweight, safe and strong structure has been offered on a series production car in this market segment.
McLaren Automotive’s production strategy offers the best of both hand-built and ‘lean’ production processes. Fine-tuned during the SLR program, it delivered cars built to the highest qualities expected by Mercedes-Benz, contributing to total production of 2,114 SLRs: a record number for any car in the £300 - £500,000 price-point and any car built on a carbon-fiber chassis.
The new MPC manufacturing facility will take the best of the company’s production processes and provide the perfect base to tailor make up to 1,000 12C’s in 2011. It will have a clear McLaren style and will espouse all the virtues of the MTC.
Like the headquarters, great care has been taken to ensure that the building fits perfectly into its environment, and is as efficient and environmentally sensitive as possible. Just two minutes by foot from the MTC, production engineers and planners will continue to benefit from the instant access they currently enjoy to the research, design and engineering teams in McLaren Automotive and McLaren Racing.
Alan Foster, McLaren Automotive’s Operations Director, said: “The MPC meets and exceeds all requirements for sustainability, energy conservation, energy re-use and sensitive environmental landscaping. This investment has future-proofed McLaren Automotive’s ability to capitalize on market demand through until at least 2020, and will allow us to produce cars of the highest quality. Starting from a blank sheet of paper, we have been able to develop a production centre and production process that mirrors the car itself – high-tech, innovative and highly efficient.”