These stunning photographs give a rare insight into the £40 million facility which McLaren hopes will make them the supercar world’s market leader.
David Cameron gave the McLaren Production Centre facility its grand opening last November after 18 months of design and construction.
And now, six months after its official opening, McLaren invited teenage photographer George Williams along to see the factory outside Woking in full flow.
The talented 19-year-old watched the whole process for building the ultra-quick supercar.
Cars are assembled and then painted before being passed through a rolling road and a ‘monsoon test’ where it is blasted with water at high pressure.
Following its completion the supercar is taken on a 30km test drive before being officially signed off.
The centre, which was designed by Lord Norman Foster, currently employs 750 experts who assemble the £170,000 MP4-12C, McLaren’s first attempt at a mainstream supercar.
Around 1,000 models have been built so far with the same figure lined up as the company deals with an 18-month waiting list.
The MP4-12C, which F1 aces Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton use as company cars, has received widespread praise for it breathtaking performance and stunning looks.
But incredibly the supercar isn’t the shiniest thing on show – with the fastidiously clean floors and tools having a mirror-like finish around the factory.
It is a far cry from Ford’s Model T assembly line in Trafford Park, Manchester, the first of its type when it opened nearly 100 years ago in 1914.
Photographer George, from Surrey, said: “The place is clinical, there’s no doubt about that, but the staff are really friendly, happy to talk despite only having a short window of time for each stage of each car which needs to be done perfectly.
“What I really liked about McLaren is that I was sitting on a table and there was Gary Paffett, the F1 test driver, on the table with us just chatting away to the other staff.”
Spread across 32,000 square metres, immaculately dressed McLaren staff work on the V8-engined supercar with eight models rolling off the line each day.
Each car takes around 12-14 days to assemble before being shipped off to one of 35 official dealerships across 18 countries.
It may have the clinical look of a pharmaceuticals laboratory, but production of the MP4-12C hasn’t been exactly plain-sailing.
The fledgling firm was forced to recall all models last year to fix a series of minor niggles, although this isn’t uncommon for supercar companies.
But any problems haven’t put off customers with used models continuing to fetch a premium at dealerships around the country as impatient customers pay over the odds.
Pictures by GFWilliams
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