Royal opening for McLaren Automotive's new £50m carbon fibre innovation and production centre

14 Nov 2018

  • £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) officially opens as McLaren Automotive’s second-ever production facility
  • TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain, officially open the MCTC and unveil a carbon fibre plaque
  • The MCTC aims to be a world-leader in innovating lightweight carbon fibre and composites that work together with future powertrain development to save weight and produce greater energy efficiencies
  • The MCTC will boost local skills, create over 200 new jobs when fully-operational and generate £100m of gross value-added for the local economy in 10 years
  • MCTC will help McLaren innovate quickly to deliver 18 lightest-in-class new models and derivatives as part of its Track25 business plan

TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain, have today officially opened McLaren Automotive’s new £50m production facility in Yorkshire, England.

The McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) aims to be a world-leader in innovating lightweight carbon fibre and composites that will work together with future powertrain development to save weight and produce greater energy efficiencies.

Prototyping has already begun on innovating McLaren’s next generation of lightweight carbon fibre tubs that are integral to the agility and performance of its sportscars and supercars.

Those present to witness the occasion were invited representatives from Sheffield and Rotherham Councils, senior local stakeholders and the 50 employees already employed at the MCTC.

Chief Executive Mike Flewitt invited the Royal guests to jointly unveil a carbon fibre plaque at the ceremony held at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in the Sheffield region.

First announced in February 2017, construction commenced just five months later and following six months of fit-out, the MCTC is now the company’s first purpose-built facility outside of the current McLaren campus in Surrey.

McLaren’s ability to tap into the Sheffield region’s extensive materials expertise, skills, university resources, and dynamism will help it to continue to innovate quickly and launch 18 new models or derivatives under its ambitious Track25 business plan that are lightest in class.

The in-sourcing of the manufacture of the carbon fibre chassis also increases the average percentage (by value) of a McLaren car sourced in the UK by around eight per cent from its current average of around 50 per cent, depending on model.

Carbon fibre has long been a part of McLaren’s DNA, the company having introduced the very first carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 in 1981. Carbon fibre’s innate strength and lightweight properties mean that the company has never made a race car, sportscar or supercar without it since.

After completing trial tubs in 2019 and once fully operational in 2020, the MCTC will create over 200 direct jobs and produce carbon fibre tubs that will be sent to the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, for hand assembly into cars, over 90 per cent of which are then exported to markets worldwide.

After seeing an example of a completed carbon tub, Mike Flewitt, McLaren shareholders and senior members of the company’s executive toured the Royal guests around the facility.

The Royal guests saw the process for producing carbon fibre tubs - currently in pre-production phase – from the cutting of the carbon fibre cloth, to the forming, pressing, machining and measuring of the final tub. Along the way they were invited to press the button to start the cutting machine, speak to some of the 50 or so people already employed at the site while McLaren Automotive Executive Director of HR, Mandeep Dhatt introduced several of McLaren’s STEM ambassadors who work at the MCTC. Supported by the company, they speak to young people in the region to encourage them to take up careers in science and engineering.

Built on a former open-cast coal mine, the opening of the 7,000m2 building set over four acres comes just seven years to the week after the launch of the MPC in Surrey. The MCTC was largely designed, constructed and fitted out by local contractors with the support of Sheffield City Council.

The target is that the MCTC will deliver £100m of gross value-added benefit to the local economy by 2028 as well as supporting skills development in the region.

“It was an honour 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 fibre. They met some of the extraordinary, creative and passionate people we already have working here who are making that ambition a reality.

“It is an important milestone for us as a ground-breaking, innovative car company and allows us to tap into the great energy, vitality and skills this part of the world has to offer. What goes on here at the MCTC will be vital for our ability to make good on our intention to continue to develop and unveil cars that are lightest in class; it is my belief that Britain – through facilities like this - can become a world leader in lightweight materials technology that will help create more efficient future vehicles.

“We are proud to be bringing new jobs to the Sheffield region which has a long association with advanced materials; first with steel and now a future to look forward to with carbon fibre innovation and production for McLaren.”
Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive

Ends

Key organisations and businesses involved with the MCTC include:

Sheffield City Region
Sheffield City Council
Rotherham Borough Council
Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre
Harworth Group plc (owner and developer of Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham)
Harris Partnership (architect, principal designer and interior designer)
Innovate UK
JF Finnegan (builder and fit-out principal contractor)
Mascot Management (project managers)
Silcock Leadham (mechanical and electrical consultants)
Imtech (mechanical and electrical contractor)
K, M&T (manufacturing engineering consultants)

Notes to Editors:
A selection of high resolution images accompanying this release is available to download from the McLaren Automotive media site – cars.mclaren.press

About McLaren Automotive:
McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars.

Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.

Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.

The company has three defined product families: Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series which are retailed through over 80 retailers in 30 markets around the world.

McLaren is a pioneer that continuously pushes the boundaries. In 1981, it introduced lightweight and strong carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 with the McLaren MP4/1. Then in 1993 it designed and built the McLaren F1 road car - the company has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis since. As part of the Ultimate Series, McLaren was the first to deliver a hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1™.

Announced at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018, the company’s Track25 business plan will see it invest £1.2billion in research and development to deliver 18 new cars or derivatives by the end of 2025.

2017 saw the company launch further models including the second-generation Super Series, the 570S Spider and the McLaren Senna. In 2018, the company launched the 600LT and the McLaren Speedtail, the next Ultimate Series and McLaren’s first ever Hyper-GT of which only 106 will be produced.

To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative sportscars and supercars, McLaren Automotive partners with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology. These include AkzoNobel, Kenwood, Pirelli and Richard Mille.

McLaren Group:
The McLaren Group is a global leader in luxury automotive and technology and comprises three businesses: Automotive, Racing and Applied Technologies.

Further information:

Wayne Bruce
Global Communications & PR Director | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 7768 132429
Email: wayne.bruce@mclaren.com

Daniel Golding
Global Head of Corporate Communications | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone:+44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 7717 450469
Email: daniel.golding@mclaren.com

Paul Chadderton
Global Product Communications & PR Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone:+44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 7990 776749
Email: paul.chadderton@mclaren.com

Amel Boubaaya
Head of Lifestyle and EU Communications | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 531357
E-mail: amel.boubaaya@mclaren.com

Freddie Gilbey
Lifestyle Communications Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 75 0099 9553
Email: freddie.gilbey@mclaren.com

Hunter Skipworth
Social Media Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 7990 564 052
E-mail: hunter.skipworth@mclaren.com

Roger Ormisher
Vice President, Communications & PR | McLaren North America
Phone: +1 714 501 8137
Email: roger.ormisher@mclaren.com

Laura Tilley
Public Relations | McLaren North America
Phone: +1 765 517 2186
Email: laura.tilley@mclaren.com

Karin Haferkorn
Head of Marketing & PR, Middle East, Africa and Latin America McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 261343
Mobile: +44 (0) 7899 816872
Email: karin.haferkorn@mclaren.com

Sunny Zhang
PR Communication Director - China McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +86 (0) 21 2074 0520
Mobile: +86 186 1617 9933
Email: sunny.zhang@mclaren.com

Gracia Yap
PR Manager – Asia Pacific McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +65 6338 3700
Mobile: +65 9109 3698
Email: gracia.yap@mclaren.com

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