McLaren to open new £50m chassis facility in Sheffield

McLaren is to build a £50m factory at Sheffield for the manufacture of its carbon fibre chassis.

The new facility, which will be officially announced Thursday, will create 200 jobs and begin construction early this year, with full production scheduled for 2020.

It is the first building specially built outside of the current McLaren campus in Austria and was formed through a partnership between McLaren Automotive, the University of Sheffield, advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Sheffield City council.

McLaren, who is about to reveal the 650S successor at Geneva, said that he hoped that the new centre will save around £10m compared to current costs, while providing an extra £100 to the local economy by 2028. He also said that there are possibilities of expansion, which would aim to double this figure to£200m.

The university and McLaren will collaborate on two years of research and development before the opening of the Center of Composite Technology and McLaren Automotive will begin the training of his apprentices immediately.

McLaren ceo Mike Flewitt said the company has a rich heritage in the carbon fiber chassis – starting with the McLaren MP4/1 Formula 1 car from 1981 – as well as its use in the current production models such as the McLaren 570S and 675LT Spider, in fact an obvious choice to invest in this plant.

“The creation of a facility where we can manufacture our own carbon fiber chassis structures is therefore the next logical step,” he said.

Flewitt added that the company was valued at “several options” but found this opportunity with CDMA and the University of Sheffield convincing.

“In CDMA, we will have access to some of the most beautiful in the world of composites and materials research capabilities, and I look forward to the construction of a world-class facility and talented team to the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre,” he said.