Weekly News Review | 25 July 2016 | Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain

Talking Point

Mclaren: doing it right

The Mclaren brand has been around since 1963, however it is a fairly new player to the exotic car market, especially in North America. The cut-throat segment, filled with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, capitalises on heritage and over-the-top style, with the same players dominating the market since I can remember. You wouldn't think it though, gawking at McLaren’s excellent half-year sales figures, up 78% in comparison to last year. On top of this, the automaker has seen healthy growth in North America, with its dealer network in the region expanding by 23% and a 68% increase in its workforce. With the help from the 570S, McLaren is on its way to exceed 1,000 cars this year. And that’s in North America alone.

Yes, I would be a fool to say that McLaren had little heritage; a company founded by Le Mans winner Bruce McLaren that brought us what many believe to be the best performance car of all time, the iconic F1. But I want to give as much credit to Mclaren for their clever investment and business strategy, if only fueled by the racing history. Now it has truly cemented its status in the exotic market, the English automaker plans to invest a further $1 billion over the next six years, which will include the launch of 15 additional vehicles or derivatives; expect to see the hybrid technology of the outstanding P1 seep into some of these models. This sounds like a rather aggressive approach from McLaren, though the automaker clearly understands the nature of the segment and wants to continue to press its rivals. We have seen many performance-focused automakers rise and fall over the years and McLaren is making sure it remains afloat.

In recent years, McLaren’s P1 has been the ultimate performance car, ousting all rivals, including the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 hyper cars; coming from a biased Brit, of course. Okay, the strictly-limited P1 only sold 375 units, compared to the rather impressive 918 unit sales of Porsche’s hypercar, though that wasn’t important. The P1, much the the classic F1, put McLaren back in the limelight, only this time the manufacturer used it to fuel a range of more affordable (in comparison to its hypercar), road-legal production cars that would pull in heaps of revenue. Last year was an important year for Mclaren, introducing a fresh portfolio to entice a new audience which inevitably propelled its sales volume. The automaker will continue to grow, aiming to triple its 1,600 2015 sales units by 2020, but will need to follow its business plan to reach its goals. With talk of an F1 revival for 2018, in an iconic three-seat layout and a price tag tipping £2 million, McLaren could gain yet another boost in brand recognition - though, lets hope that they stay true to the F1’s heritage.

Alex Kreetzer

Alex Kreetzer - News Editor

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