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Harwoods Group joins McLaren Automotive supercar franchise

McLaren 720S

Harwoods Group is preparing to add the McLaren Automotive supercar franchised to its dealership portfolio with the opening of a new showroom in the New Forest.

The Worthing-based AM100 retailer is scheduled to become the brand’s ninth UK franchised retail location when it opens the doors to its new facility, at Bramshaw, Hampshire, for the first time in May.

Harwood’s new facility will serve the Woking-based brand’s home market, catering for customers in the South of England, including Hampshire, Sussex and Kent.

McLaren Automotive’s new dealership joins the existing UK network which includes sites in Ascot, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Hatfield, London, Manchester and Leeds – operated by Cambria Automobiles, Jardine Motors Group, Parks Motor Group, Rybrook Group and Sytner Group.

David Gilbert, Managing Director of McLaren Automotive Europe, said: “The McLaren retail network continues to expand as two of the first three cars announced under our £1.2bn Track25 plan enter production.

“We are particularly thrilled to welcome McLaren New Forest as our ninth retail partner in the UK. Harwoods has an excellent reputation with premium automotive brands and the new location is perfectly suited to our existing customer base and within easy reach of many prospective McLaren owners.”

Harwoods newly-appointed chief executive, Archie Harwood, said: “I am personally very excited and proud to welcome McLaren into the Harwoods family.

“From the very beginning I realised the businesses shared a winning heritage with common values and having a love of the McLaren brand myself and its exciting history, I was keen to deliver this very personal project.

“I have committed to passionately drive McLaren business in the South to success, with the Harwoods ethos of delivering memorable experiences to all customers and partners.”

Speaking to AM in November last year, McLaren Automotive managing director for Europe, David Gilbert, said that the brand’s retail focus is on its new franchises in Leeds and Hatfield – but new open points would be considered.

Gilbert, who was speaking to AM ahead of tomorrow’s (November 14) opening of the British supercar maker’s new manufacturing facility in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, described the new facilities operated by Parks Motor Group and Cambria as “impressive”.

But he would not rule out further growth of its UK retail network as the brand pushes production volumes from the McLaren Technology Centre at Woking to a capacity approaching 5,000 cars a year.

“The new facilities are true destination developments and introduce new customer standards that we are excited to embrace,” said Gilbert.

“Our focus for 2019 in retail in the UK is very much on supporting the growth of those new businesses, but other retailers do come to us regularly and enquire about the possibility of opening a franchise and we continue to do our research to determine whether they might present viable open points for the brand.”

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