British supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive have announced details of a new Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield. It will be the company’s first purpose-built facility outside of their current campus, responsible for the development and manufacturing of Monocell and Monocage carbon fibre chassis for use in future McLaren vehicles.
The new centre will be built, with the support of Sheffield City Council, near to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield. The new factory is excellent for South Yorkshire as it will generate over 200 new jobs.
McLaren will be in good company right next to the AMRC which has specialised in technological development, research and the creation of high-value components for well over 10 years. It makes sense for McLaren, who since 1981 has not built a car without a carbon chassis, to work alongside the component manufacturing facility as they begin to develop and manufacture their Monocell and Monocage carbon fibre chassis in a new 7,000 square metre facility.
The new workshop is due to start construction in early 2017 and is expected to become fully operational by 2020. In the meantime, trial manufacturing processes will take place in the AMRC with the first pre-production carbon fibre chassis expected to be delivered to the McLaren Technology Centre in the second half of 2017.
Here is what McLaren CEO, Mike Flewitt, had to say about the new facility:
“We evaluated several options to achieve this objective but the opportunity created by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield was compelling. At the AMRC, we will have access to some of the world’s finest composites and materials research capabilities, and I look forward to building a world-class facility and talented team at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre.”
The announcement is great news not only for McLaren but also the City of Sheffield, known for its history in coal mining and steel production. However, it will now play a part in helping one of the most distinguished brands in the automotive industry continue to pioneer the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production.