McLaren is working to build its brand equity and better compete with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini on resale value, despite continuing its plan to launch 18 new models by 2025, of which four have now been revealed.
In markets such as Australia, it hasn't been able to maintain residual values close to the Italians, an issue it's actively working to resolve.
Speaking this week to CarAdvice at the Geneva motor show, executive director of global sales and marketing, and member of the board, Jolyon Nash, said McLaren is building brand equity to generate more secondhand demand, but also argued profiting from supercar resale is a thing of the past.
“I can understand historically looking back to 2013, 2014 with the 12C to 650S, that was in some customers mind a little unexpected,” Nash says of resale on now-defunct models.
“The way I would look at it, we are still a pretty young brand, we are building brand equity over time when I look at the residual value of cars like LTs and P1s, they are pretty good and I am very confident that they will get stronger and stronger.”
A quick look at the classifieds will show used McLaren vehicles selling well below their competitors relative to their original list price. Nash believes product drives new car sales, and says the company won't hold back new, better products to protect previous models.
“I will also say quite honestly that the days of, in this segment, when you could buy a supercar and then sell it a year or two later for more than you paid for it, I think they are frankly long gone," Nash argued, suggesting the "extremely limited cars, those do appreciate significantly, but the market is too competitive", for regular supercars to do the same.
As for what McLaren is doing to increase resale, Nash discussed some innovative ways the company is going about its brand building.
“The best we can do, the most impactful we can do is generate demand, the stronger we build the brand the more demand there will be for our cars, the more and more people that will be coming into the brand to buy certified used car..." he said.
"The sort of work we do with getting our cars into video games [helps build brand equity], so creating a fan base, awareness of our cars. For example the Senna being the face of newly-launched Forza game.
“I have heard two or three instances, where I have spoken to a customer and they have said 'the only reason I bought your car was when I happen to say to my child, I am thinking of getting a Ferrari or Lamborghini and they said lets look at a McLaren and I hadn't ever heard of a McLaren’," Nash mused.
Nash says video games are the ‘new posters on the wall from 70s and 80s’ and will have a long-term impact for kids growing up today which will see the demand for McLaren cars increase over time.