McLaren expands

McLaren Automotive has announced plans to base its new production centre in Woking, creating around 800 automotive jobs and an additional 1,500 indirectly in the local economy.


The McLaren Production Centre (MPC) will be used to build a range of high performance sports cars from 2011, with an initial annual production of 1,000, increasing to around 4,000 when the range is complete.


According to McLaren, the facility will have the capacity for up to 20 McLaren sports cars per day.


Antony Sheriff, managing director of McLaren Automotive, told The Engineer: ‘We have challenged our suppliers to work with us not only on delivering unique components and parts, but to do it rapidly and to great accuracy.


‘The value will be financial as we successfully launch this range and also professional as we challenge our suppliers to work with us on our innovations.’


McLaren’s plans for the MPC follow recent moves from the government to stimulate high-tech manufacturing and engineering jobs to help pull the UK out of the current recession.


Ron Dennis, chairman of McLaren, said: ‘It would be easy enough to consider building McLaren sports cars in existing productive and experienced foreign factories, a number of which are knocking on our door.


‘However, McLaren is a great British company founded more than 40 years ago that should, in my view, continue to design and build its own products.’


The planned MPC will be located adjacent to the McLaren Automotive Centre.


Sheriff said: ‘This is a stunning home for McLaren, both in the way it works and integrates our businesses and also in how it looks from a brand position.


‘It’s a great place to work in and a great place for guests to visit.


‘With available space on the site for a production facility, it therefore makes a lot of sense to build our cars here.


‘We are now in the final stages of developing our first new sports car and the early stages of building a range of cars.


‘The timing is planned to launch the car in early 2011.’


Woking Borough Council’s decision on McLaren’s planning application for the McLaren Production Centre is expected at the end of July.