Driving Homebuilding Ambition

19th October, 2021

A busy year for TopHat has seen them bring in a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) from the automotive industry to further boost high-tech innovation into designing and manufacturing newbuild homes.

Paul Buddin who was responsible for growing McLaren Automotive to a £1.25billion business in just nine years will lead on the volumetric modular housebuilder’s growth plans. The former head of McLaren Group – who left McLaren Group in May 2021 – will lead on TopHat’s growth strategy as it looks to deliver over 3,500 factory-built houses and apartments a year by 2025.

In his previous role, Buddin was responsible for establishing and growing McLaren Automotive – a business set up in 2010 to break McLaren into the luxury automotive market. Thanks to the company’s investment in new technologies and the agility of its production of luxury sports cars, the manufacturer now competes alongside industry giants such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Buddin did so by leading on the development of the Automotive group – via its Track25 and Horizon 2030 strategies – which included opening two new factories, new product development, setting up a franchised dealership network, opening new regional offices, establishing a logistics network, recruiting talent and implementing a new enterprise system (SAP). Buddin grew McLaren Automotive from a business achieving a £6million turnover and producing zero cars in 2010, to one that posted turnover worth £1.25billion and rolled 4,662 cars off its production lines in 2019. He then went on to lead the wider Group, helping to turn around the finances of the eponymous Formula One team and steering the Group through the COVID crisis.

Backed by his experience at McLaren, Paul Buddin will be responsible for ensuring TopHat secures funding for the company’s rapid expansion plans as it continues to revolutionise the delivery of housing across the UK by harnessing artificial intelligence, precision-engineering techniques and robotics. His experience in high-tech manufacturing will help to streamline TopHat’s manufacturing processes, helping to significantly bring down costs over the long-term. This will ultimately mean that investors, developers, housing associations and councils will be able to deliver high-quality, energy-efficient housing for cheaper. 

The former McLaren chief is using his appointment to call on the Government to introduce incentives that will help bring down the capital costs of purchasing and installing the low-carbon technologies – such as air source heat pumps and solar panels – that will help the UK meet its domestic climate change targets.

“Reaching net zero in housing will require a joint effort from the Government and the private sector,” says Paul. “Through grants and other incentives, policymakers have done a great job in encouraging more consumers to make the switch to electric vehicles in the last 10 years. As a result, it’s estimated that by 2022 the extra cost of manufacturing battery powered cars versus fossil fuel equivalents will diminish to £1,470. Ministers should now strive to replicate such successes, to help clean up housing’s act and achieve the economies of scale in production that will help bring down upfront costs that will be needed to help ensure the transition is accessible to all consumers.”

“I’ve been incredibly impressed with what TopHat has achieved in such a short amount of time,” adds Paul. “I consider them an industry leader in delivering homes that are not only high-quality, but highly energyefficient. The company’s business model is more akin to manufacturing, rather than housebuilding. Therefore, I plan to use my decade worth of experience in high-tech manufacturing to help the modular housing pioneer scale up rapidly. If the Government wants to achieve its climate reduction targets and investors want to meet new building regulations in such a short space of time, then factory-built housing has to be part of the solution.”

For more information visit: www.tophat.io 

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