McLaren eyes bumper Gulf sales of P1 hypercar

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McLaren Automotive, the British sports car maker, expects to sell out of its allocation for its P1 hypercar in the Gulf, its regional managing director has told Arabian Business.

McLaren, which is currently marketing the US$1m car in the UAE, has collected as many deposits through Al Habtoor Motors, its local franchise partner in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as retailers in Dallas and London since its official launch, said Mark Harrison.

“Al Habtoor Motors are neck-and-neck at the top at the moment for deposits on the car with Dallas and London,” he said.

“There is only one car at the moment and we’ve got it [in the UAE], so I’ve challenged the retailer here that by the end of February they should be standalone number one for deposits around the world,” he added.

The automaker has yet to reveal details of pricing for the P1, which will be available to buy from September, but it will have 903bhp and be limited to no more than 500 models.

Ten percent of all models released are expected to be made available to regional customers, although Harrison said he will push for more. “If you look at the MP4-12C, which we’ve had on sale for a year, we get about 10 percent of production of that car,” he said. 

“We are quite happy with that 10 percent [but] the P1 I am challenging the factory to give me more than 10 percent. The demand is there to take quite a bit more than 10 percent,” he added.

McLaren, which is part-owned by Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, started McLaren Automotive in March 2010 to market sports cars.

The British company launched an US$80m factory in 2011 that allows mass production of its supercar as it looks to translate its sporting success into 4,000 car sales a year. The company has showrooms across the Middle East, including two in the UAE.

The automaker sold 150 models of its US$290,000 McLaren MP4-12C in the GCC last year and expects to sell as many in 2013, said Harrison. “We sold around 150 so that’s good, we sold out. It will be a similar number [for 2013].”

McLaren, which entered Formula One in 1966, has made several limited forays into manufacturing. The firm has only released two-street legal cars to the public, the 1990s F1 three-seater, which hit a then- record of 242 miles per hour, and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

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