McLaren road car offers prospect of UK jobs boost

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarThursday, May 21st, 2009

 
 

Work on a new McLaren road car could boost UK manufacturing to the tune of more than 800 jobs as well as supporting the country’s exports, according to Ron Dennis.

The former F1 team principal and current McLaren Automotive chairman has been getting stuck into his new role – including announcing plans for a new production centre for the company in Woking.

Dennis has explained how the centre, to be located next to the McLaren F1 team’s Technology Centre base in Woking, would represent what he described as an important investment in the UK automotive and high-tech manufacturing infrastructure.

The company has submitted a planning aplication to Woking Borough Council for a facility that would allow it to produce cars at the rate of 20 a day.

It proposes a building designed by Foster + Partners, the company that created the Technology Centre, that would be sunk into the ground to minimise visual impact, as well as substantial landscaping and improved access to public land for recreation.

The company says that it aims to build the UK’s most modern and efficient automotive production facility, to provide employment growth at McLaren supporting more than 800 automotive jobs and to support an estimated additional 1,500 indirectly in the local economy.

It said in a statement about the application: “The planned building of MPC would also support sustained growth of the McLaren brand in providing high-value, high-tech manufacturing and engineering employment in the midst of the global recession.

“With its first product, a high performance and highly efficient sports car due to be delivered in early 2011, McLaren’s globally respected road car and racing car development skills are set to redefine the automotive engineering environment in the UK.”

Ron Dennis added: “Ever since we revealed the McLaren F1 sports car in 1992, it has been a long-held dream of mine to launch a McLaren sports car company.

“Designing, developing and selling globally the best sports cars in the world is just half of that equation; building them to previously un-matched levels of quality, with ground-breaking technologies in a production facility in the UK is key to satisfying that dream.

“I believe that if the McLaren Production Centre is given the go-ahead, it will be an engineering centre of excellence of which McLaren and the UK can be proud.”

The company also points out that its plans support recent political and business calls for the creation of high-tech manufacturing and engineering jobs to support the UK’s growth out of recession.

A Woking Borough Council decision on McLaren’s planning application is anticipated at the end of July.

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