McLaren eyes bumper sales of super cars in region

CEO expects company to sell out of its luxury cars in Middle East this year
McLaren eyes bumper sales of super cars in region
McLaren launched the MP4-12C last year.
By Claire Valdini
Wed 23 May 2012 03:59 PM

McLaren Automotive, the British sports car maker, expects to sell out of its US$290,000 luxury car in the Middle East this year, its CEO has told Arabian Business.

The company said regional investor interest in the supercar firm, which is part-owned by Bahrain’s Mumtalakat had “peaked” since the launch of its 200-mile-per-hour McLaren MP4-12C last year, said Antony Sheriff.

“In our Middle East and Africa region we expect to be somewhere around 130-150 cars of which the biggest market is the UAE,” he said. “We’re easily sold out until the rest of the year.” 

McLaren, best-known as the most successful Formula One team after Ferrari, started McLaren Automotive in March 2010 to market sports cars. The British company launched an US$80m factory last year that will allow mass production of its supercar as it looks to translate its sporting success into 4,000 car sales a year.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis in November said he’s continuing to seek new investment in the firm.

The car manufacturer, which opened its Dubai showroom outside the Burj Khalifa last year, will launch its second UAE showroom in Abu Dhabi Wednesday and its Jeddah dealership next week. 

The firm may expand its showrooms in the GCC, said Sheriff. “The Middle East is pretty much the only market where we have covered the entire territory from the beginning; that’s the level of importance we have given it,” he said.

“There is plenty of potential in each of the markets; we are in Bahrain, Jeddah, we’ll be in Riyadh soon, we’re in Kuwait City and Doha and of course Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which covers all of the main areas.

“We will consider other areas in the Gulf region, maybe Muscat, but at the moment this is a pretty dense allocation of dealerships,” he added.

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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