McLaren opens $95m facility devoted to carbon fibre
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McLaren's a company on the rise, with incredible projects like the Senna and Speedtail shaping the supercar and hypercar segment, and critical acclaim never too far behind. Not too bad, for a car company that's still really in its infancy.
Now, the British firm have opened a new £50m (NZD$95m) facility in Yorkshire, England. We've covered the planned factory at length, but now it's open in all of its clean and white glory. And, it was host to some special guests on launch day.
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Among the first to set foot in the facility were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with the Crown Prince of Bahrain Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa (no relation to Wiz, they tell me).
“It was an honour 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 fibre," said McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.
“What goes on here at the MCTC will be vital for our ability to make good on our intention to continue to develop and unveil cars that are lightest in class; it is my belief that Britain – through facilities like this - can become a world leader in lightweight materials technology that will help create more efficient future vehicles."
Yes, MCTC. It stands for McLaren Composites Technology Centre, and that points to the main purpose of the huge 7,000m squared factory. It will primarily engineer carbon fibre composites — both in existing applications as well as conducting testing for future applications. McLarens of course are well known for their carbon tubs, which feature all the way down to the 'base model' 540C.
Fifty members of staff are already work at the MCTC, and once it becomes 'fully operational' in 2020 it's expected the create over 200 direct jobs. And thanks to incentives like the Bruce McLaren International Internship, some of those 200 could be New Zealanders.