HRH The Duke of Cambridge meets the team behind McLaren Automotive, world-beating British sports and supercar maker
12 Sep 2017
HRH The Duke of Cambridge today visited McLaren Automotive, the pioneering British creator of luxury sports and supercars.
He was given a tour of the McLaren Production Centre, in Woking, led by Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Officer. Along the way, The Duke met some of the company’s 2,100 workforce who designed and hand-assembled a record 3, 286 cars last year, the majority exported around the world.
The Duke was also accompanied on his tour by Commercial and Legal Executive Director Ruth Nic Aoidh and Chief Operating Officer Dr Jens Ludmann and heard about McLaren’s efforts to encourage more young people to pursue science, engineering and maths-based (STEM) careers.
The Duke talked to Alex, one of the company’s young apprentices nominated as apprentice of the year. He then met Amina, a recent production apprentice, along with her mentor Mandy, to understand how the company supports her development to help nurture future talent, essential for a company blending cutting edge design with hand-built craftsmanship.
Mike also gave The Duke the chance to place the famous McLaren badge on one very special car before seeing a model being put through its paces on a rolling road test bed.
Design Director Rob Melville explained to The Duke the philosophy behind McLaren’s latest supercar, the 720S. Launched in March, it is the first model in the second-generation Super Series that has already sold out for this year and one of 15 new models and derivatives the company will deliver by 2022.
Rob explained how he develops the company’s design strategy, working with the engineering and manufacturing teams, as well as talking to customers, to help create the ultimate drivers’ cars.
McLaren Automotive is the largest part of the McLaren Group, which also includes a technology business and racing team that are headed by Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Neale and Executive Director Zak Brown, who were also on-hand to welcome The Duke.
Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, said: “It’s a great personal honour to welcome The Duke to McLaren Automotive and something that each and every one of our people should feel justifiably proud of as a globally renowned British sports and supercar creator.
“Part of the McLaren DNA has always been about achieving engineering excellence and a pioneering spirit. That goes right back to our founder Bruce McLaren and is instilled in everyone one of us today. But I know that we can only continue to create world-beating cars and technologies that truly push the boundaries of what’s possible by harnessing the talents of an incredible and diverse group of men and women who all bring their unique skills and experiences to bear.
“It’s obvious that we’re passionate about our cars, which comes through in abundance to our customers around the world who drive and love our products. What’s sometimes less remarked upon, and which I hope came across during The Duke’s visit, is that we are equally passionate about backing the next generation of design, engineering and manufacturing talent. That’s because we recognise that we rely on attracting, nurturing and developing top talent right across our company, something else we can all be proud of.”
Notes to Editors:
A selection of high resolution images accompanying this release is available to download from the McLaren Automotive media site – cars.mclaren.press
About McLaren Automotive:
McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and super cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey. For the past 30 years, McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production and since introducing a carbon chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.
Following the global launch of McLaren Automotive in 2010, the groundbreaking 12C was revealed in 2011, the 12C Spider in 2012, and the limited-run McLaren P1™ went into production in 2013. In keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, the company unveiled the 650S, in Coupé and Spider form in 2014, while 2015 proved to be a year of unprecedented growth of the product portfolio with five new models launched across the full range. The strictly limited edition 675LT Coupé premiered at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the track-only McLaren P1™ GTR which, with 1,000PS, became the most powerful model ever produced by the brand. The much-anticipated Sports Series became the third – and final – model tier in the McLaren range with the 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé debuting in New York and Shanghai respectively, less than one month apart. The end of 2015 saw the launch of the fifth model, the 675LT Spider, which was as a direct response to customer demand. The year also saw the end of production for the first model in the Ultimate Series as the 375th McLaren P1™ was completed, closing what had become a defining year for the British brand. 2016 continued where 2015 had left off with the introduction of the 570GT - a second bodystyle for the Sports Series and the most luxurious car McLaren has ever built, as well as the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint track variants. 2016 also marked the introduction of the company’s new business plan, Track22, which sees the company investing £1B in Research and Development to deliver 15 all new cars or derivatives by the end of 2022, of which at least 50% will feature hybrid technology. The uplift in sales in 2016 also saw the launch of the second shift at the McLaren Production Centre as well as the company’s third year of profitability in just six years of trading. In March 2017, the second-generation Super Series was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show with the global premiere of the McLaren 720S. The first convertible model in the Sports Series, the 570S Spider, was revealed in June 2017 and made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
McLaren Automotive Partners
To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative and highly acclaimed sports cars, McLaren Automotive has partnered with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology including, AkzoNobel, Kenwood, Pirelli, Richard Mille and SAP.
Visit cars.mclaren.com for more details.
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