27.03.17 Peter Dias

The Award to Industry Dinner 2017


The Coachmakers’ Award to Industry 2017 was presented to McLaren Automotive in recognition of its achievements in applying a wide range of design and manufacturing skills to develop a range of sophisticated, elegant supercars that are also commercially successful.

This year’s dinner took place on Thursday 19th January at Vintners’ Hall, Upper Thames Street, where James Banks, Head of Bespoke Cars at McLaren Special Operations, accepted the award.

McLaren Automotive is a British car manufacturer that has grown out of the company founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. It is based at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, designing and manufacturing sports and luxury cars.

James was instrumental in the success of the McLaren Mercedes SLR and the follow up McLaren SLR Moss. James, with Lola Cars, helped pioneer a cutting-edge high quality resin infusion process for the carbon body paneling – produced to the highest of exacting standards. He has since moved within McLaren and is now deeply involved in all aspects of creating bespoke automobiles of the highest quality – working closely with the customer and the skills and craftsmanship of the hugely complex supply chain. Nearly 70 per cent of McLaren cars are bespoke.

The simplistic elegance of the manufacturing systems deployed at McLaren is often referred to as ‘genius’. The philosophy is constructed around simple visual controls and metrics, people systems and engagement. A mix of education, challenges and mentorship for key personnel, has led to the development of a high performing team capable of consistent excellence.

At the dinner, a video was presented to show just how far we’ve come. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/efptmNkDjsg

At the dinner we also welcomed those elected members who had been sworn to the Livery including: Ian Atkinson, Geoff Dowding, Graham Green, Richard Hills, David Lane, Lyn Litchfield and Emma Wilding. Freeman Christopher Broadbent-Combe was also clothed in the Livery.