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McLaren to name three dealerships in the UK

McLaren has chosen three UK dealers to sell its MP4-12C high performance sports car which goes on sale next year.

The Woking-based manufacturer has set up an international network of 35 dealers to handle next-year’s launch.

The UK locations are expected to be in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

There were more than 600 names on the original worldwide list of potential dealers which was whittled down to 300 before 150 were interviewed.

Half went as far as submitting a business plan before the choices were made.

Very few know if they have been chosen as one of the partners for the small global network.

They will all be notified over the next six weeks and then the names will be known.

HR Owen and Sytner could both be potential groups that would fit with the McLaren franchise.

McLaren plans to do things differently in the way that all brands do.

But the intention is to make little fuss for the car in the showroom and lots of fuss for the owners.

Aftersales zone managers will be on-call 24 hours a day as well as ‘flying doctors’ who will fly anywhere in the world if an issue cannot be resolved locally.

The primary qualifications for dealers were financial strength, supersports experience, great CRM systems and “alignment with our way of doing things”.

Antony Sheriff, the ex-Fiat chief executive and McLaren managing director, says as soon as a car is delivered, a complete set of replacement parts will be delivered to that dealer’s warehouse.

“We want to be sure our owners never have to wait for a new headlamp.

"When they need it they get it.

"There is very little point in us beating ourselves up over the feel of a switch in the 12C if we have not taken the trouble to ensure the owners are looked after.”

He says the really important thing about setting up to supply and service a £160,000 carbon-fibre two-seater with drivetrain and handling modelled on the Formula One cars, is the relationship with the driver which could last 20 years if handled right. 

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