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Middle East helps power McLaren supercar sales to record

The Middle East has given McLaren Automotive, the British manufacturer of luxury sports and supercars, good reason to get revved up with sales soaring last year.

Its Middle East, Africa and central and South America region grew by an impressive 69 per cent last year, as the company posted another record year of sales growth.

From offices in Dubai, McLaren has expanded into Abu Dhabi. “We continue to develop our international division through our partners in the UAE and through exciting growth opportunities in new territories,” said Phil Pringle, the managing director for McLaren Construction & International. “We pride ourselves in providing an excellent global management resource combined with strong local knowledge and expertise.”

Remarkable

McLaren almost doubled deliveries year-over-year, selling a total of 3,286 cars in 2016 compared with 1,654 in 2015.

The 99.3 per cent improvement in sales performance also follows the company’s announcement of a third consecutive year of profitability in 2015 and the production milestone of the company’s 10,000th car.

“2016 was a remarkable year for McLaren Automotive,” said Mike Flewitt, the chief executive of McLaren Automotive. “We’d planned it to be a year of considerable growth, thanks to the first full year of Sports Series production, but it’s surpassed even our own optimistic expectations, having seen development in all regions. We’ve also invested significantly in our future.

“In March, we launched Track22, our six-year business plan, that demonstrates the longer-term future for the company, with 15 all new cars or derivatives planned between now and 2022.”

The sales increase was thanks to growth across all regions and exceeded the company’s own expectations of 3,000 cars sold last year.

In its first full year of production, the Sports Series family accounted for 2,031 deliveries, the majority of which came from the recently-introduced McLaren 570GT and 570S models.

The Super Series also continued its success story thanks, in large part, to the McLaren 675LT Coupé and Spider models. Having both sold out in a matter of weeks, the limited production, even more driver-focused and higher-performance derivatives of the Super Series started production in mid-2015 but continued through last year. In total, 1,255 Super Series cars were sold in 2016.

Geographically, North America continued to be McLaren’s single largest market with deliveries of 1,139 cars, a 106 per cent increase over 2015. Europe ended 2016 selling 996 cars in total, an increase of 153 per cent whilst the rapidly-developing market in China sold 228 cars in total. The Asia Pacific region grew by 90 per cent. In addition, the global footprint of the McLaren retailer network continued apace with new dealer facilities opened in Bristol, England, Boston and Palm Beach in the United States, Gold Coast in Australia and Fukuoka in Japan.

Investment

In March at the Geneva Motorshow, McLaren revealed details of its Track22 business plan, taking the company through to 2022, with a commitment to 20 to 25 per cent of turnover invested in research and development. Over the six-year period, this represents an investment of £1 billion (Dh4.45bn) and will lead to the launch of 15 all-new cars or derivatives, the company said. Of these cars, at least 50 per cent will feature hybrid technology by the end of the period. The plan also includes the development of a fully-electric powertrain for a concept car to evaluate its possible use in a future Ultimate Series. In 2016, the early prototype stages of the development work commenced.

In the Ultimate Series, McLaren Special Operations confirmed details of the world’s first “Hyper-GT”. The car, codenamed BP23, will be limited to 106 units, all of which have already been pre-sold and the first customer delivery is expected in early 2019. The car uses a three-seat layout with a central driving position similar to that of the iconic McLaren F1, of which 106 units were also built, and will feature a hybrid powertrain making it one of the most powerful McLaren’s to date.

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