McLaren SUV ‘against brand ethos’

The brand has said it before, but it's saying it again. McLaren won't be building an SUV, arguing it would undermine what the brand stands for.
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McLaren won't be trying to cash in on the SUV boom, seeing no way to deliver such a vehicle without compromising its promise of lightweight performance.

Porsche broke the mould many years ago with the Cayenne, and now the likes of Lamborghini, Aston Martin and even Ferrari have followed suit with SUVs to feed voracious market demand. McLaren remains adamant it won't be lured by promise of profit from crossovers, though.

Speaking to CarAdvice at the Geneva motor show, the brand’s executive director of global sales and marketing, and member of the board, Jolyon Nash, said an SUV would be ‘against the brand ethos’ and pointed out McLaren’s shareholders are happy to stick to the brand’s core values.

“We are an independent company with shareholders who are passionate investors, they love this business, they want to be part of the business, who buy into the strategy we have for the brand, who support what we think current product should represent," Nash said.

"That means we are completely in control of our product plan, we can design and engineer the cars that are true to the DNA of lightweight high performance engaging cars to drive.” Nash said.

“We have the freedom to say we don’t need to build an SUV. Our maximum capacity is 6000 cars [per year], selling between 5000/6000 cars enables us to generate sufficient profit and return for our shareholders," he went on. "They are happy, we don’t need to get into that segment it would be a compromise. SUV is really the antithesis of lightweight supercars.”

The Urus won't be getting a rival from McLaren anytime soon, apparently.

CarAdvice pointed out to Nash the fact McLaren will soon become the only mainstream supercar manufacturer not be making an SUV, something he said would make the company very proud.

“I think that is fantastic, I look forward to the day… we are very focused on the purity of the brand. The long-term health of this business depends on the brand. Our business plan is robust enough that through the plans we generate enough cash and profit [not to need an SUV].”

Should McLaren build an SUV?