McLaren's new Sheffield plant will have an annual capacity of 10,000 carbon fiber monocoque chassis per year.
McLaren Automotive is about to rapidly expand its supercar production with ambitious plans to launch 15 new cars by 2022. By the end of the decade, the automaker aims to build 5,000 cars annually. Speaking at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren Chief Financial Officer Paul Buddin also revealed that the automaker's new Sheffield plant will have an annual capacity of 10,000 carbon fiber monocoque chassis per year.
Car and Driver asked McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt about the disparity between those two numbers, who revealed that the ultimate plan is to build more than 5,000 cars a year. Quite simply, the gap between sales targets and production capacity gives the automaker more room for expansion. "It would be very short-sighted to limit ourselves to 5000 cars," he said. He went on to reveal that McLaren is also considering using the Sheffield plant to build carbon fiber monocoque chassis for other car manufacturers looking to build limited-run performance cars. "We won't do it until we're fully up and running ourselves," he said, "but it is something that we are considering as an obvious expansion."
Lending its expertise to other automakers makes sense considering McLaren has extensive experience building carbon fiber-bodied supercars. All future McLarens will adopt the new next-generation carbon fiber architecture, which is said to be far more flexible than the current one. The new architecture is so adaptable it can be resized, meaning it could potentially underpin a 2+2 four-seater supercar or a track car, allowing McLaren to diversify its model range.