McLaren’s new £50m production facility in South Yorkshire has delivered its first carbon-fibre tub to the company’s headquarters in Woking.
Northern Group members were in attendance when McLaren opened the new facility — the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) — in November 2018. It aims to manufacturer all of McLaren’s carbon-fibre chassis, on which McLaren bases all of its cars, within the UK, bringing production onshore from Austria.
Although the facility is far from full operational status, the production of the first prototype tub is a key moment. The item, codenamed “PLT-MCTC-01” — for Prototype Lightweight Tub, McLaren Composites Technology Centre, Number 1 — is the first step as the MCTC starts full production in 2020. It currently employs 60 people, but that will increase to 200 when fully operational.
Wes Jacklin, plant director at MCTC, said:
“The delivery of the first prototype carbon fibre tub by the new MCTC to McLaren HQ is not only an exciting day for everyone who has directly worked on the project but also a significant milestone for McLaren Automotive’s ambition to be world-beaters in lightweight and composites technology which goes hand-in-hand with our move to hybrid powertrains as part of our Track25 business plan.”
McLaren won’t keep the tub as a memento however. The prototype will be put through rigorous testing, including crash tests, to ensure it is no different from existing items.