Sportscar maker McLaren has reiterated its commitment to UK manufacturing following the opening of a supercar engine production plant in Shoreham, West Sussex.
The facility will assemble the M838T engines for the new £168,000 MP4-12C car at a rate of one every 45 minutes. The engine has been designed in partnership with engineering consultancy Ricardo, which will oversee production at the plant.
McLaren said that it had considered locating the project in Austria, a move that could have cost 1,000 jobs. But Ron Dennis, McLaren’s executive chairman, said the firm wanted to demonstrate its commitment to the UK. He said: “We need to demonstrate to our young people that science and engineering is exciting. You need successful projects to be able to do that.”
Dennis, who described himself as “fiercely patriotic,” added: “Through government we are desperately trying to communicate the importance of science and engineering for our country. We are far too dependent on other parts of the economy. We need science and engineering.”
Local MP Tim Loughton said that Britain’s economy depended on the strong performance of engineers. “The success story for the future of this country has got to be about really good products. This has got to be up there with the best of them,” he said.
The Shoreham facility went from concept to completion in just 18 months.