South Yorkshire’s expertise in composites and light-weighting was a crucial factor in persuading the sports and super car brand, McLaren, to re-shore the development and manufacture of its advanced carbon fibre lightweight chassis to a purpose built, £50 million facility in Rotherham.
Drawing on the world-leading composites research at the AMRC – and its advanced High-Pressure Resin Transfer Moulding system, which cuts cure times to just three minutes – the company has been able to de-risk the investment in its own McLaren Composites Technology Centre.
The partnership with the AMRC allowed McLaren is predicted to deliver cost-savings of around £10 million, increase the average UK content of its vehicles to around 50% and represents a significant “re-shoring” of manufacturing into the UK from mainland Europe.
“At the AMRC we will have access to some of the world’s finest composites and research capabilities, and I look forward to building a world-class facility and talented team at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre.” Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.
It is anticipated that the investment will bring new jobs and other McLaren supply-chain companies to the City Region, bolstering the regions automotive expertise.
McLaren’s choice of South Yorkshire is further proof that the region’s capabilities are up there with the best in the world.
The AMRC has become a model for collaborative research involving universities, academics and industry worldwide and is a member of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult – a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capacity for innovation and help drive economic growth. It has already worked with automotive companies such as Bentley, Ricardo, Jaguar Land Rover, Runflat Systems, Nissan and TMG – Toyota Motorsport; attracted by the centre’s expertise and capabilities.
The AMRC is expanding its research activity into the next generation of electric vehicles – from domestic cars to heavy haulage – with a strong focus on the smart manufacturing assembly processes that will be required to safely and efficiently build battery-powered drive trains and other key components of a cleaner, greener alternative to the internal combustion engine.
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