(Dailymail) Prime Minister David Cameron officially opened McLaren’s £50million production centre on Thursday, and said the place was ‘inspiring’.
Cameron was given a tour of the site in Woking, Surrey, by McLaren chairman Ron Dennis, and he met the British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. He also took time to speak with employees at the site.
The new factory will produce McLaren’s £150,000 MP4-12C supercar, and has created almost 350 new jobs in the technology sector.
In his speech, Cameron said: ‘I can tell you, I’ve been to a few factories. I’ve been to a few car manufacturing plants in my time. I’ve never been to anything quite like this – it really is inspiring what you do.
‘We all want this to be a country where we’re respected once again for what we make as well as the services and finance we provide – vital though they are.
‘And there are people out there who say that can’t happen because the base has gone – the skills aren’t there; Britain doesn’t make enough things any more upon which to build. And so they conclude that our glory days of science, engineering and manufacturing are behind us, and that from now on it’s going to be about buying from the world rather than selling to the world.
‘What McLaren does here in Woking is a powerful rebuke to that view. And one of the things that has so impressed me today is it’s not just about the extraordinary Formula 1 cars that you make or, indeed, the incredible new cars we’ve just been looking at, it’s the technology, it’s the invention, its the patents, it’s all of that innovation that is going to lead to so many other great businesses in the future.’
Cameron’s visit followed a similar trip to Woking and McLaren for then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1986, when she met Formula One legend Alain Prost.
McLaren haven’t enjoyed the best year in their history, with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull claiming the major honours.
They will now be hoping for a strong winter of testing, and a strong start to the 2012 campaign.
Credit: Nick Metcalfe
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