McLaren Opens New $65 Million Plant That Only Makes Carbon Fiber Chassis

McLaren will need the Composites Technology Center to achieve its goal of 18 new models by 2025.

byJames Gilboy|
McLaren Opens New $65 Million Plant That Only Makes Carbon Fiber Chassis

McLaren announced Wednesday that it has opened a second manufacturing facility, its £50 million ($65 million USD) Composites Technology Center in Yorkshire, England.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 75,000 square-foot building, built over a coal mine, was attended by local shareholders and city council members, along with 50 of the plant's first employees. Dignitaries such as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Bahraini crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalif (a significant portion of McLaren is Bahraini-owned) aided McLaren executive Mike Flewitt in the unveiling of the building's carbon fiber plaque.

"It was an honor 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 fiber," stated Flewitt in the company's release. "They met some of the extraordinary, creative, and passionate people we already have working here who are making that ambition a reality."

McLaren Automotive

The MCTC, as McLaren refers to it, is the automaker's second purpose-built manufacturing facility outside of its headquarters at the McLaren Technology Center (MTC). Its 50 employees are already developing prototype carbon fiber tubs for the next generation of McLaren's already immeasurably-fast supercars, of which the company intends to launch 18 by 2025. Trial manufacture of tubs will begin in 2019, and McLaren expects the facility to commence full-scale production in 2020. Chassis manufactured here will be shipped to the MTC for assembly into complete McLarens.

Domestic production will increase the proportion of money spent on British-built components from an average of 50 percent to an average of 58 percent. The MCTC is anticipated to add over 200 jobs and contribute a gross £100 million ($130 million USD) to the local economy by 2028.

The MCTC will offer McLaren growth potential to beat its own record sales, which amounted to 3,340 cars in 2017. Expansion of the marque's dealership network across the globe meant that the company outsold Lamborghini in the United States in 2017, though the launch of the Lamborghini Urus crossover since makes a repeat of that performance unlikely.