McLaren has confirmed it will build its next generation of supercars in Britain.
The company, best known for its McLaren F1 road car and Formula One racing activities, has lodged a planning application to build its new road car facility adjacent to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. The new building will be called the McLaren Production Centre (MPC).
The facility will have the capacity to build 20 McLaren sports cars per day, and McLaren says it is aiming for it to be "the UK’s most modern and efficient automotive production facility".
McLaren says the plant will provide around 800 jobs , as well as supporting 1500 local workers indirectly.
The first product planned to be built at the factory will be a high performance and highly efficient sports car, which is due to go on sale in early 2011.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said: “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 unmatched 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 design of the new factory takes the McLaren Technology Centre’s (MTC) as its precedent. The ‘Foster+Partners’-designed headquarters has won a Royal Town Planning Institute award. As with that building, the road car base will be sunk into the ground to minimise visual impact, include substantial new areas of tree planting and re-contouring to effectively disguise above-ground views, and improve access to public land for recreation.
Dennis has also talked about why he has chosen to base the new company in Britain, rather then abroad.
“It would be easy enough to consider building McLaren sports cars in existing productive and experienced foreign factories; a number of which are knocking on our door," said Dennis. "However, McLaren is a great British company founded over 40 years ago that should, in my view, continue to design and build our own products.”
Woking Borough Council is expected to decide on the planning application for the McLaren Production Centre at the end of July.