Wednesday, January 17, 2018

News: McLaren inaugurates new Rotherham facility - in style

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British supercar manufacturer, McLaren, has used the freshly laid floor of its new £50m facility in Rotherham to showcase its latest supercar for the first time.

Supporting the firm's objective of producing more than 4,500 vehicles annually by the end of 2022, the £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) was announced in February 2017. It will enable the development and manufacture of the Monocell and Monocage carbon fibre chassis used in future McLaren models.

As construction nears completion, McLaren Automotive chief executive Mike Flewitt illuminated the famous marque's sign, which will be visible from the Sheffield Parkway.

The centre is set to open later this year to start building carbon fibre development tubs, with full operation planned for 2019.

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Inside the 75,000 sq ft facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, the recently unveiled McLaren Senna road car performed a series of expertly choregraphed "doughnuts" to leave a trail of fresh Pirelli tyre rubber to "christen" the floor in McLaren style.

The McLaren Senna – whose design was led by Harrogate- born Rob Melville - was accompanied by Ayrton Senna's original Grand Prix winning McLaren MP4/5 race car from 1989.

The event provided the first glimpse inside the new composites technology centre which, when open, will be home to McLaren's second production facility and the first ever outside of its native Woking.
McLaren signed a conditional twenty-year lease with Harworth Group plc, the brownfield regeneration and property investment specialist that owns the Waverley site.

Designers on the prject were JPG with The Harris Partnership as architects. The contractor is JF Finnegan and the project managers are Burnley Wilson Fish.

The centre is set to create more than 200 jobs and will comprise approximately 150 production staff and 50 manufacturing support staff. Over 40 McLaren employees are already based at the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, where they are advancing the process for creating the lightweight carbon fibre Monocage structures at the heart of McLaren cars.

When operational, carbon fibre tubs will be manufactured and sent to the McLaren Production Centre in Surrey where the company's sportcars and supercars are hand-assembled.

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Bringing production back to the UK from abroad, the firm expects that when the MCTC is running at full production from 2020, it could to deliver cost savings of around £10m annually.

Mike Flewitt, chief executive at McLaren Automotive (pictured), said: "Today is an important and exciting milestone for everyone at McLaren Automotive, as well as a personal honour, to officially turn on the McLaren sign at what will be our McLaren Composites Technology Centre when it opens later this year.

"It marks the continueddevelopment of the current 2,100 strong company, and will bring new jobs to the Sheffield region which has a proud association with advanced materials; first with steel and now a future to look forward to with carbon fibre innovation and production for McLaren."

Backed by a grant of up to £12m via the Sheffield city region (SCR), the investment is set to have a £100m of GVA (gross value added) benefit to the local economy by 2028.

The McLaren Group recently recorded another record year of growth, selling a total of 3,340 cars in 2017. It has an ambitious "Track22" business plan that sets out and supports growth. Long-term, the plan includes launching 15 new cars and/or derivatives up to 2022, with three revealed to date.

McLaren Automotive website

Images: McLaren

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