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Middle East director: McLaren keeps its ‘foot on the accelerator’

McLaren

The British brand has quickly positioned itself as a strong rival to longstanding carmakers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini among others.

McLaren has gone a long way from being a successful name on race tracks, to an even more successful manufacturer of road-legal supercars.

Launched in 2010, McLaren Automotive, the arm of McLaren Applied Technologies, posted its first profit results in 2013, after registering losses in 2011 and 2012. In 2014, the brand also profited from selling nearly 1,600 cars globally. McLaren 560S, the model launched early last year, has been the top seller in the Middle East, according to Ian Gorsuch, the Middle East and Africa regional director at McLaren Automotive, who went to state that “Globally [McLaren] sold 1,400 from that range of cars [650S], [of that] we sold almost 144 in the region.”

For 2015, the executive forecasts that the 560S will continue to be a top seller in the region, noting that the brand is expecting new models this year. “We always keep our foot on the accelerator,” he says. “No one takes a rest at McLaren because we have to [cross swords] with really strong competition.”

Explaining the 2011 and 2012 reported losses, Gorsuch says: “In 2012, we were still launching a car… and we were setting up a global company, so we launched our first cars in 2011, 2012 was our first full year of selling one model, but while [doing that], we were investing in all the other new models that were going to come out, so it’s actually very unusual for a company to start making profit so quickly.”

Breaking the brand’s markets to regions, the Middle East is among its smaller markets. However, customers from the region are already signing up to buy McLaren’s anticipated release, the 675LT, set to for an unveiling this March at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

“We’ve got people [from the region] who are very keen on buying them, so they’ll be around, but it’s a handful, and you won’t see them on the roads,” Gorsuch says.

The 675LT will be the latest addition to McLaren’s newly announced McLaren Super Series, comprising the 650S and the Asia-only 625C. Gorsuch explains that the 675LT will be for the sports car market, but purely for track use.

“This car would be in the low double digits of product, because this one is approximately two million dollars, and it’s a track-only version of the P1, so this is for the real petrol-head elite who want to have a track-only car,” Gorscuch says, adding that anyone who buys the car would get to spend time with the McLaren race team at Formula one, where he or she will be treated “almost like and F1 driver.”

McLaren manufactures a limited number of units for each of its models. For instance, it only produced 375 of the P1 model. While there still are a few units of the P1 in the production pipeline, those already have customers’ names on them, and will be delivered immediately.

“This also helps the customer, because if there is demand for the new cars it means the residual value on the used cars is higher; if someone is going to wait a year for a car they’ll buy a used car, drive it and that keeps the residuals higher,” Gorsuch says.

Part of the brand’s strategy behind producing a limited number of McLaren models is keeping the consumers hungry, and ultimately the demand high.

 

First published on Aficionado, sister publication of LuxuryMena.

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