Thursday, November 8, 2018

News: McLaren's Rotherham facility set for royal opening

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are planning to make a pit stop in Rotherham next week to officially open the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC).

A £50m investment has been made in developing and manufacturing the future of lightweighting technology with the soon to-open facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. It is the supercar manufacturer's second only production facility and the first outside its native Woking.

McLaren recently took the keys for the new 75,000 sq ft facility that will enable the development and manufacture of the Monocell and Monocage carbon fibre chassis used in future McLaren models.

Kensington Palace has confirmed that Prince William, and wife, Catherine will be in South Yorkshire on November 14 to open the composites centre.

His Royal Highness is no stranger to the firm, having visited the McLaren Production Centre in Woking in 2017 when he was shown around the facility by Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.

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After meeting apprentices, The Duke was also given the honor of placing the final touch to a McLaren 720S – the placing of the McLaren bonnet badge - before seeing the model put through its paces on a rolling road test bed.

The Rotherham facility is due to be fully operational in 2020 when the current team of 45 will have grown to around 200 people.

The fastest growing luxury automotive brand in the UK recently revealed an updated and expanded £1.2bn business plan and has upped its production targets to reach 6,000 mid-engined sportscars and supercars a year by 2025. It registered 390 vehicles in the first half of 2018.

Ken Smart, project director for the MCTC, stated recently that McLaren is already looking at what else it can do in the region, adding that: "I'd be very surprised if there wasn't more to come."

Last month, McLaren unveiled its first "Hyper-GT" - the McLaren Speedtail. It will be built around a Rotherham-made carbon fibre monocage body structure unique to the Speedtail that envelops a McLaren F1-inspired central driving position and two additional passenger seats.

McLaren Automotive website

Images: McLaren

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