McLaren Production Centre construction & environmental programme ahead of schedule

05.05.2010: ē £40 million McLaren Production Centre (MPC) construction programme ahead of schedule within two months ē Innovation and attention to detail in MPC construction programme reflect wider McLaren Group attitudes and

•              £40 million McLaren Production Centre (MPC) construction programme ahead of schedule within two months

•              Innovation and attention to detail in MPC construction programme reflect wider McLaren Group attitudes and results

•              Sensitive environmental development and cleanliness are the details driving the MPC’s rapid construction challenge


McLaren Automotive’s plans for the launch of the first in its range of premium high-performance sports cars have received a further boost this week as its new home begins to take shape. The McLaren Production Centre (MPC) at McLaren’s global headquarters in Woking, UK, is just eight weeks into its construction and is already ahead of schedule. McLaren’s and its construction partners’ detailed planning and consultation processes, as well as the good weather experienced in the UK over recent weeks, have contributed to the project’s impressive speed off the line.

Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman of McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, said: “We’ve approached the MPC planning and construction programme in the same rigorous and detailed manner as we would start a Grand Prix season or as we’ve managed the research, development and launch of our new McLaren Automotive car company.

“Every aspect has been considered, and solutions resolved, whether it be on the production facility’s timing and layout, the local sensitivities regarding the practical, logistical and environmental impact of the new facility, or how we deal with details such as keeping the site and surrounding roads as clean and as traffic-free as possible. It’s very important to me, to all at McLaren, and to our partners in this project that the MPC is not only brought to life on time and on budget, but that it’s also completed in a way that supports the Woking area and its community.

“I was born in Woking and am proud that McLaren is the town’s biggest employer as well as being a genuine global leader in technological innovation and high-value manufacturing. With that in mind, it’s great news for all concerned that the MPC is already ahead of schedule.” 

Works on the MPC build programme started on Monday 1st March as scheduled following a very thorough planning process that took into account all local concerns over the MPC’s impact on traffic and jobs, as well as the environmental and visual impact.

McLaren worked closely with a number of local groups whose members had expressed doubts over the development, reassuring all concerned that the MPC would make minimal visual impact on the local environment, whilst economically and industrially supporting Woking as a world-leading centre of manufacturing innovation and technology.

The MPC aims to reflect the environmental credentials of the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC), McLaren’s award-winning Woking headquarters, and examples of the environmentally sensitive and detailed development programme that McLaren is undertaking include:

•              McLaren Automotive’s SLR manufacturing operations and processes were reviewed. As a result, energy consumption within the MPC will be reduced for the 12C and future cars. For example, specialist ‘low-energy’ paints have been selected for the 12C that can be cooled mainly through natural air-flow within the building. Noise levels will also be negligible

•              A major re-contouring landscape project will sensitively screen the MPC from visitors to the adjacent Horsell Common. Importantly, the landscaping project is re-using all existing soil (unusually, none is leaving the site), massively reducing the transportation impact and the potential for the introduction of invasive plant species to Horsell Common

•              820 new trees, and 68 existing mature trees that were transplanted in a local nursery before the bird-nesting season, will be planted on-site to further screen the MPC and MTC and positively contribute to the local environment

•              An extensive landscaping programme features the planting and sowing of native shrubs and a grass seed mix in sympathy with Horsell Common species that will ensure the site is in keeping with its location

•              Every vehicle that leaves the site receives a high-power wheel and chassis wash to ensure that dirt and mud is not left on the surrounding roads: a safety concern that McLaren also believes is of visual benefit to the surrounding area

•              McLaren has purchased the Heather Farm facility of industrial buildings and concrete hard-standing, adjacent to the Horsell Common Special Protection Area, and has bequeathed ownership of the site to the Horsell Common Preservation Society

•              All local public footpaths have been either retained or will be enhanced for future access, with project updates posted on the Horsell Common footpaths to keep the local community aware of progress

The MPC build programme is a technical and engineering challenge in itself. Set a rapid timescale of approximately one year from the start of construction to the production of the first 12C high-performance sports car, McLaren and its partners in the programme, Fosters & Partners and Terence O’Rourke, are well on course to open the doors to the 33,000m2 innovative new car production centre in the first half of 2011.

Highlights of the build programme include:

•              At its peak, the construction programme will support 450 jobs

•              300 jobs (many highly skilled) will be added to the existing 500 at McLaren Automotive

•              180,000m3 of soil will be excavated. Typically on a major construction programme, much of the excavated soil would be removed from site. Unusually, but in keeping with McLaren’s consideration of its Woking home, all soil is being retained on site, saving the associated transport disruption of moving such large amounts of soil onto local Woking roads

•              To date, almost 25,000 off-site lorry movements (3,000 per week) have been prevented through the project’s sensitive re-contouring plan that retains all soil on-site.

Ron Dennis added: “I’m pleased to be able to say that 2010 has been a fantastically exciting year so far at McLaren. The successful start to the MPC build programme follows our global launch of the new sports car company in March and a winning start to this season’s Formula 1 world championship for our Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team.

“We already have nearly 2,000 car enthusiasts expressing an interest in our first car, the 12C; we’ve already won two of the first four Grands Prix so far this season, including a one-two in China, and we’re currently leading both the Constructors’ World Championship and the Drivers’ World Championship.

“Moreover, we’re already almost two weeks ahead of schedule on the MPC. The construction programme is yet another reflection of the passion of everyone at McLaren for the company to be the most innovative, most successful, and most respected sports car and motorsport business in the world, both now and in the future.”

MPC and MP4-12C in detail

The MPC will be the home of McLaren Automotive’s range of high-performance and highly efficient sports cars, supporting up to 800 jobs and manufacturing around 4,000 cars by the middle of the decade. New standards of quality will be introduced into the sports car market, as well as innovative new technologies unique to McLaren. All components on the cars are bespoke to McLaren.

The first 12C customer cars will be built in the Production Hall at the McLaren Technology Centre in late 2010, approximately three months before production transfers to the brand new McLaren Production Centre. They will follow the same build and quality processes that McLaren Automotive developed for the £300,000-plus carbonfibre based Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

However, in a revolutionary step that allows the 12C to retail at around half that price point, McLaren will introduce an innovative one-piece carbonfibre chassis structure known as the MonoCell: the first time that such a lightweight, safe and strong structure has been offered on a series production car in this market segment.
McLaren Automotive’s production strategy offers the best of both hand-built and ‘lean’ production processes. Fine-tuned during the SLR programme, it delivered cars built to the highest qualities expected by Mercedes-Benz, contributing to total production of 2,114 SLRs: a record number for any car in the £300,000-500,000 price point and any car built on a carbonfibre chassis.

The new MPC manufacturing facility will take the best of the company’s production processes and provide the perfect base to tailor-make up to 1,000 12C’s in 2011.  It will exhibit a clear McLaren style and will espouse all the virtues of the MTC. 

The MPC will be just two minutes by foot from the MTC, and production engineers and planners will therefore continue to benefit from the instant access they currently enjoy to the research, design and engineering teams in McLaren Automotive and McLaren Racing.

- Mark Harrison, Dan Connell-


05.05.2010 / MaP

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