Sales of British sports car brand McLaren are on the rise, as the brand starts to resonate with buyers who previously had not even considered the storied marque, let alone a purchase.
In 2016, the company sold 3286 cars, almost doubling sales of the previous year, as well as recording its fourth consecutive year of profitability. It’s all part of McLaren’s Track22 six-year plan that will see a total of 15 new cars or derivatives delivered by 2022.
That doesn’t mean you’re going to start seeing McLarens all day, every day on the daily commute. In fact, they’re considerably rarer than Ferraris and even Lamborghinis, at least for now.
This year, McLaren hopes to lift sales to between 3500-4000, which isn’t far off the factory’s current production capacity of 5000 cars. By way of comparison, Ferrari will limit production to around 7500 cars (up from 7000 in 2016) while Lamborghini is aiming for similar numbers to McLaren, after racking up 3487 units in 2016.
Despite the recent introduction of the entry-level 540C, McLaren Asia-Pacific boss George Biggs believes the company is focused on exclusivity for its buyers.
“At McLaren, we’re focused on making sure our cars come to market at the right time for the right customers, but effectively we’re limited by 4500-5000 production capacity," he said.
“Important to our brand is our exclusivity and rarity of seeing a McLaren on the road. That’s what customers are interested in, so that’s what is important to us."
McLaren is also finding favour in this country, too, selling 93 cars last year, up by almost 160 per cent. By way of comparison, Lamborghini sold 127, while Ferrari found 188 new car buyers for its prancing horse-adorned cars.
Australia currently sits as the seventh largest market for McLaren, behind the likes of Japan, easily the largest market in this region with sales of around 300 cars in 2016.
McLaren is keen to build market share and brand perception in Australia, given the extraordinary popularity of performance cars in Australia, according Anoop Arjun, Regional Sales Manager for McLaren, based in Singapore.
“I’m very much interested in growing Australia into a really important market for McLaren, because the bigger we can grow, the greater say we have in shaping what the cars that come out of the factory are.
“Last year our growth here represented 158 per cent year-on-year, while in 2017 we are tracking at 142 per cent, but then sales of the 570S and 540C could move that along as more people become interested in the what the brand has to offer.
“The demand for our brand is definitely there, and what’s helped us achieve those numbers is Sports Series. These cars have been very popular and through the fact that we are now competing in the sports car segment for the first time.
"I also think customers are really understanding the value proposition that our cars bring to the table in that segment”, Arjun told CarAdvice.
"At the moment we're just trying to create organic growth, and the biggest thing for us is trust.
"Anyone who we're trying to conquest, it's always trust. We're not governed by a parent company, we haven't been in the market for that long, and consumers might question if we are going to be around for the long haul, like any start-up.
"However, we've been able to demonstrate that we are expanding, that our global production is increasing, as our our dealerships, with three in Australia and significant interest in other states. Four years ago we only had one dealership in Sydney serving the whole country," said Arjun.