Head of Engineering - McLaren Special Operations

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Location: Woking, GB

“MSO provides McLaren owners with virtually limitless possibilities to tailor a car exactly to their needs and tastes.” – Jolyon Nash Executive Director Global Sales & Marketing

MSO can trace its origins to the McLaren Customer Care Programme, established in the 1990s to maintain and upgrade the McLaren F1. Although the organisation’s size and scope has grown considerably since then, it’s still committed to making sure that every F1 owner can enjoy the same level of service and support that their cars enjoyed when they left the factory.

Buyers of the McLaren F1 have always demanded the best, with the Customer Care Programme delivering factory standard servicing and repairs for their cars around the world. But soon after the F1 went on sale, it emerged that those who bought previously owned McLaren F1s also wanted the ability to make changes and upgrades to their cars, delivered to factory standards.

We are now looking for a Head of Engineering to enable and lead MSO to take the next step in their growth. This is an exciting and rare opportunity for an ambitious individual to lead the Engineering function into the future of Bespoke vehicles.   

Purpose of the role:

The Head of Engineer role reports directly to Managing Director of MSO and is responsible for leading, developing and championing the MSO Engineering department (including the Programme Management Office) to deliver all MSO vehicle lines and projects.  The scope of the role covers all projects, from R&D stage to series production as well as vehicles in the field.

Principal accountabilities:

  • Ensure all Engineering activities are delivered to plan and consistent with the McLaren Development Process (MDP)
  • Lead initiatives to promote MSO Engineering capabilities with internal stakeholders and external parties
  • Line manage a team of engineering managers and the Programme Management Office to deliver MSO Defined (line fit options), Limited Edition programmes, Bespoke commissions and Heritage projects
  • Investigate and drive innovative solutions to continuously improve the delivery of the Engineering department
  • Provide technical and decision-making support to all Design and Vehicle Engineering activities
  • Champion activities for weight-reduction, cost-down, build concern resolution and process-improvement
  • Lead the team to deliver all Engineering targets in line with KPI’s and milestones set by MDP including BOM, investment including internal and outsourced labour and D&D, tooling costs and attribute targets
  • Ensure Project Timing plan is achieved, i.e. design releases, DFMEAs, DVPs, Risk Assessment Tool and other relevant gateway deliverables
  • Help define future technical strategies and associated technology roadmaps
  • Use the Risk Assessment Tool to identify requirements of Technical Specifications, DVPs, DFMEAs for all systems in line with McLaren and VCA standards.  Work and liaise closely with key internal stakeholders to ensure buy in

Knowledge, skills & experience:

  • Programme management experience within an engineering function
  • Broad technical knowledge across the Automotive Engineering discipline
  • Proven track record of leading a high performance cross functional team
  • Extensive experience of automotive design and development
  • Excellent systems design and development knowledge
  • Proven problem solving and change management capability (PPS)
  • Experience of high and niche vehicle (low volume) programmes

Personal attributes:

  • Automotive knowledge is necessary and having a good level of commercial acumen and the ability to rapidly understand the broader business context of automobile production, marketing, sales and aftersales
  • Comfortable at taking directions, but also entrepreneurial in approach, able to work autonomously and contribute to development of commercial programmes
  • Natural leader, able to take responsibility for delivery
  • Team focused with a positive mentality - demonstrating drive and endurance to achieve outstanding results
  • Able to build good relationships at all levels, internally and externally
  • Resilient, able to work under pressure and to tight deadlines
  • Capable of being an ambassador of the McLaren brand to customers, retailers and partners

We recognise that we can only achieve our vision with the dedication and collaboration of our world class employees.  It is our aim to become the employer of choice within the global automotive industry.

At McLaren Automotive we are constantly looking to improve. To become the employer of choice we are always looking to develop our employee offerings. We currently offer a range of benefits to employees at all levels of the business including Private Healthcare, Contributory Pension Scheme, Life Assurance and Personal Lease Car Scheme. We also offer a range of discounts with our partner organisations.

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