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2011 McLaren MP4 12C Review

June 2010
Filed under: MISC Car News | MISC Headlines
These three outstanding and experienced automotive retailers will begin selling the McLaren MP4-12C from spring 2011 under the names McLaren Birmingham, McLaren London and McLaren Manchester. The UK, along with the USA, will be McLarens biggest market, and initial interest in the UK for the 12C already exceeds the first years allocation. A full model range of high-performance, two-seat, mid-engine McLaren sports cars will be completed by the middle of the decade.

Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotives Managing Director: “I am thrilled to announce the relationship between McLaren Automotive and its UK representatives - three of the best car retail businesses in the world. The UK is our home, and the strong demand for the 12C from potential retailers and prospects is evidence of the strength of the McLaren brand in the UK. “British car enthusiasts are demanding; they enjoy and appreciate performance cars, and traditionally buy whats best " not necessarily whats British. Competing in this market will, therefore, be a major challenge for us as a new sports car company, but McLarens brand and experience stand us in good stead: the McLaren F1 and SLR projects were perfect benchmarks that provide us with the expertise, commitment and confidence to design, develop and build the worlds best performing and highest quality sports cars. We now have the ideal partners in the UK who have enormous experience in delivering extraordinary customer service to help us deliver on those expectations, Sheriff concluded.

The UK retailers will join a global network of 35 partners in 2011 who will be responsible for selling a planned production volume of 1,000 12Cs. The European network will also be announced in June, with the North American, Middle Eastern and South African retailers confirmed this summer. The Asia Pacific market will be announced in the autumn, and a handful of retailers will then be added in select mature and emerging markets from 2012 as McLaren moves to a full model range of around 4,000 sports cars by the middle of the decade. McLaren Automotives aim is for its global network to remain smaller, more flexible, and more profitable than competitors networks, with a target of around 70 retailers worldwide.

Christian Marti, McLaren Automotives Regional Director for Europe, said: “We began our comprehensive search for the best retailers over a year ago. There was understandably strong competition to represent McLaren in the UK. As we have seen in all launch markets, the demand to be one of the first McLaren retailers was huge "we considered over 20 UK car retailers within a total of 600 potential global partners.

“During the selection process we shared our long-term business plan, innovative product line-up, and focus on what is best for the retailer " sensible investment and attention to customer service and aftersales. We have a phrase at McLaren that sums up our attitude towards the retail business: “sanity, not vanity, and we will work very closely with Rybrook, Jardine Motors Group and Sytner to deliver great solutions for our future customers, Marti concluded.

McLaren focus fits retailers future plans

McLaren Automotive aims to deliver the 12C through retailers who understand and appreciate the companys desire to offer cars and customer service of a higher quality than previously experienced in the performance sports car market. McLarens strong brand and heritage, its reputation amongst performance car owners, and future plans for a range of high-performance sports cars proved highly attractive to the three successful retailers.

Henry Whale, Managing Director at Rybrook, McLarens franchise in Birmingham said: “With their incredible passion and total professionalism, McLaren has already established a world-beating brand through its Formula 1 activity. We are confident it will replicate this success as it launches its eagerly awaited sports car company, and that the 12C will redefine the sports car driving experience. We are delighted to be representing McLaren at the launch of this exciting project and we believe this appointment further enhances Rybrooks position as a leading retailer of prestige motor cars in the UK.

Simon Everett, Group Operations Director for Jardine Motors Group, McLarens representative in London, said: “Jardine Motors Group is ideally placed to support McLarens new sports car company. We are one of the UKs leading motor groups and operating predominantly in the premium and high luxury sector " a natural champion of McLarens passion, skill, and experience. Representing McLaren in its very important home market in London is a great opportunity for the group and we are looking forward to working with them to establish this exciting new brand through a unique business model that delivers the highest levels of customer service.

Jon Crossley, Sytner's Managing Director for its McLaren franchise in Manchester said, "Our enthusiasm for prestige motor cars is coupled with a great passion for motor racing and particularly Formula 1. This announcement is terrific news for my team who have a great understanding of, and appreciation for, the supercar market. They are very excited by the new McLarens close relationship to motor racing technology and its world-leading carbon innovation. We are really looking forward to introducing the new McLaren to our customer base and being a part of a very exciting future with such a prestigious brand."

McLaren on-tour round the world: Festival of Speed takes centre-stage

McLaren fans and car enthusiasts alike will be the first to see the 12C as it makes its public world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 1, 2, 3, 4). This follows a series of private viewings to prospects in Düsseldorf, Brussels, and Zurich in June, and immediately prior to similar events planned for UK McLaren retailers and prospects at the companys award-winning MTC headquarters in Woking, Surrey.

Following the 12Cs Goodwood debut it will continue its world tour, being presented to select audiences, and taking in every city in which the car will be sold, from Sydney to San Francisco. Further public presentations will provide a wider audience with the opportunity to see McLaren Automotives innovative new sports car, such as the Pebble Beach Concours in California in August. This will provide potential customers with the opportunity to experience the quality, design and unique packaging that will allow the 12C to challenge the worlds most famous sports car brands.

Carbon and Formula 1 at the heart of 12C

Taking on the worlds best premium performance cars, the 12C will be lighter, more powerful, more fuel efficient and more exclusive than its key competition. It will achieve its performance benchmarks by introducing a unique, McLaren-developed carbon MonoCell chassis into the core sports car segment in a production process that introduces technical innovation and new levels of quality to the market.

All McLarens will be based on this Formula 1-inspired carbon structure; since the 1981 Formula 1 MP4/1 racing car, McLaren has only ever constructed its racing or road cars around carbon fibre chassis. Key to McLarens aspirations has been the integration of Formula 1 with the road car project. Through simulation, the flow of processes and principles between McLarens road car and racing car engineers, and the employment of a number of Formula 1 experts on the road car team, the 12C has been designed, developed, and engineered to the same standards, expectations and speed of thought as the company approaches its Formula 1 projects. McLaren Automotive and McLaren Racing are just metres apart under the same roof at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC), and have combined to deliver a sports car designed for aerodynamic performance, just as in Formula 1.

New factory and global plans

A brand-new manufacturing facility, the McLaren Production Centre (MPC), began construction on March 1 2010 adjacent to the MTC. It will begin to build cars for the UK from spring 2011. The very first UK customers will have their cars built in the first months of 2011 in the MTC, prior to the opening of the MPC. This planned manufacturing programme will ensure the same unprecedented quality that McLaren delivered on the SLR is transferred onto all future McLarens.

Of the 19 countries, and 35 retailers, launching McLaren Automotive, the UK, USA, and Germany will be the companys biggest markets for the 1,000 12Cs planned for production in 2011. Between 300 and 400 cars are planned for North America, 400 to 500 for Europe (70 per cent to UK and Germany), and 100 to 200 each for the Middle East/South Africa and Asia Pacific regions.

Following the March 2010 McLaren Automotive press conference, The Launch of a New Car Company, over 2,500 potential customers have now expressed a serious intention to buy the 12C. The first 12Cs will be delivered to customers in Europe, followed by a phased distribution to retailers in the Middle East, South Africa, North America and Asia Pacific.

Prices for the 12C will be confirmed at a later date, but the car will sit in what McLaren terms the core sports car segment of cars priced between £125,000 and £175,000.

McLarens 2011 global retail network: Mclaren Automotive will be represented in the following 35 cities and markets:

-Europe: UK (Birmingham, London, Manchester); Germany (Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart or Munich); Belgium (Brussels); France (Monaco, Paris); Italy (Milan); Spain (Madrid or Barcelona), Switzerland (Zürich)
-North America: Canada (Toronto); USA (Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Orange County, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa)
-Middle East / South Africa: UAE (Abu Dhabi, Dubai); Qatar; Saudi Arabia (Jeddah, Riyadh); Kuwait; Bahrain; South Africa (Johannesburg)
-Asia Pacific: Hong Kong; Singapore; Sydney; Tokyo

Antony Sheriff biography: Graduated from Swarthmore College in the U.S. with a B.S. in Engineering and a B.A. in Economics. After working for Chrysler, Antony completed a M.S. in Management from M.I.T in 1988 while working for the International Motor Vehicle Programme at M.I.T.. Upon graduation, Antony joined McKinsey and Company as a strategic management consultant, working with a number of automotive and non-automotive clients in the U.S. and Europe. In 1995, Antony joined Fiat Auto in Italy and in 1997 was promoted to Executive Director of Product Development for all Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia cars and commercial vehicles. In 2002, Antony was promoted to Vice President Marketing for Fiat. Antony joined McLaren Automotive in 2003 as Managing Director. Antonys responsibilities encompass the design, development and manufacture and distribution of current and future road cars.

Christian Marti biography: Studied Management Engineering and gained an MBA in International Business Management. Christian began his career in the automotive industry as a Product Manager at BMW in 1993, moving to Renault to become Product Director in 1999. In 2002, Christian left Renault to deliver the merger of Jaguar & Land Rover Austria. Over the next six years Christian held a number of Managing Director positions at Jaguar Land Rover, including recruiting and establishing a team and office in China. In 2008, he became the first CEO of Porsche Cars Canada before joining McLaren Automotive as Head of Europe in 2009.

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