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Caterham’s new Dartford HQ opens door to more Sevens – and potentially EVs

Caterham has moved into its new Dartford HQ, where it will build up to 750 cars per year

Since 1987, Caterham has built its cars at Kennet Road in Dartford. If you’ve visited the factory, you’ll know that space is not something it has in abundance. 

Today, that’s all changed: Caterham has announced its new HQ and factory are officially open, at a 54,000 square foot facility which will allow a 50 per cent increase in production capacity. 

The new site is still located in Dartford at the recently built Dartford X industrial park development. Caterham’s new under-one-roof space allows it to also incorporate the company’s flagship showroom and R&D and commercial operations centre, which were previously located at a separate site near Gatwick. It’s the first time Caterham’s activities, including its motorsport operations, have been able to be brought together in one space since the company’s beginnings.

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Given that the new site is located near to its previous factory, Caterham has been able to retain its existing workforce. 

Fitting out the new site has been a nine-month process. Caterham says the increase in production capacity will allow it to build up to 750 cars a year. The factory includes 33 production bays, where each individual Seven build will take place, up-to-date paint booths, an engine shop and parts warehouse.

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No doubt the potential to build electric cars has also been factored into the new site’s fitment, with Caterham showcasing a concept for an electric Seven in 2023, and the striking Project V electric coupe concept.

The new site has been made possible by a multi-million-pound investment from Caterham’s owner, the Japan-based VT Holdings retailer group.

Caterham Cars has been based in the south east of England since it took on the rights to build the Lotus Seven in 1973. It’s named after its original location, Caterham in Surrey, before it moved to the Kennet Road site in 1987.

Bob Laishley, CEO of Caterham, says: ‘Moving into our new global headquarters is a significant moment in our brand’s history and will be transformational for the business and the future of the Seven. Caterham fans and customers will also be able to see first-hand where our cars are assembled. It’s a hugely impressive modern facility and I have no doubt they’ll be blown away by it. I certainly am and I know our staff are thrilled to be operating in such a world-class facility.’

From today (5 June 2024), Caterham is now offering guided factory tours via its website, here.

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