McLaren is open to the idea of making carbon fiber structures for other automakers once its new plant in Sheffield, England is operational.
Speaking at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren Chief Financial Officer Paul Buddin revealed McLaren’s Sheffield plant will be capable of churning out around 10,000 carbon fiber monocoque chassis per year. The British supercar manufacturer is eyeing annual sales of around 5,000 units a year by 2020, so on the surface, it seems the plant will be well under capacity once the lights turn on.
The reason McLaren has left so much breathing room is that it one day plans to build much more than 5,000 cars a year. Furthermore, it may be open to becoming a supplier of carbon fiber chassis to other automakers or taking on outside engineering projects. The brand wants to look out for itself before providing expertise to other brands, but it’s certainly on the minds of McLaren brass.
“We won’t do it until we’re fully up and running ourselves,” Buddin told Car and Driver. “but it is something that we are considering as an obvious expansion.”
McLaren’s next-generation carbon fiber architecture is expected to be much more flexible than the current one, with C&D reporting it may even be capable of underpinning a four-seat 2+2 model. It also came to light this week that McLaren may adopt a hybrid all-wheel drive system going forward in order to improve traction in its more powerful cars and the brand also hinted at doing away with rear subframes entirely to save weight. It’s exciting times over in Woking. Oh, and Sheffield too.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Discuss this story on our McLaren forum