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Caterham will ramp up production by 50 per cent thanks to new HQ

As Caterham reaches its 50th anniversary as a manufacturer, the British firm has transferred to a larger headquarters in Dartford

Caterham is sticking to a traditional formula for its series of brilliant road and track cars, but the company itself is evolving. Thanks to a multi-million pound investment from VT Holdings, Caterham’s owners, the firm is transferring from its Kennet Road HQ to a much larger facility nearby in Dartford. 

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Set to be completed towards the end of the year, Caterham’s new base will see it increase production capacity from 500 cars to around 750, which is fitting given that its current line-up is broader than ever. Beginning with the piddly 660cc Seven 170 – Caterham’s lightest Seven yet – the range includes retro-styled Super Seven models, the ultra-hardcore Seven 420 Cup and the manic, supercharged Seven 620 at the very top of the tree. 

With the new factory being a stone’s throw from the old Kent Road unit, Caterham will retain its current workforce to build each Seven by hand for customers. It’s not finished yet, but the new building will be fully fitted out by the end of the year, when it will also begin to host factory tours and vehicle handovers should owners wish to drive their car straight off the production line.

The announcement coincides with Caterham’s 50th anniversary, with the company having purchased the rights to build the original Lotus Seven in 1973. While today’s cars remain true to Colin Chapman’s formula, the latest flagships push it to extremities with supercharged Duratec motors, sequential gearboxes and carbonfibre panels. 

Speaking on the new factory, Caterham CEO Bob Laishley said: ‘It’s fitting that, in our 50th anniversary year, we can invest in new premises to facilitate our ambitions, for the future of the Seven and the brand as a whole. The site not only increases our production capacity but enables us to advance our manufacturing capabilities into a modern setting. It will be a fantastic new home for the brand, our employees and our customers past, present and future to visit.’

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