McLaren Automotive’s managing director for Europe, David Gilbert, has 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.”
McLaren Automotive’s eight UK franchises are operated by Cambria, Jardine, Parks, Rybrook and Sytner.
Gilbert said that McLaren Automotive’s research into the viability of a new market area extends to its economic output and the presence of other luxury brands – including fashion outlets – in the vicinity.
McLaren Automotive expects its retailers to help it towards a 650 vehicle sales in the UK during 2018, but Gilbert conceded that the capacity of the MTC in Woking could be restricted in the near future by the production of high-value hypercars like the forthcoming £1.75m Speedtail, which demand longer production times.
The opening of Parks’ McLaren Automotive Centre in Leeds during May marked a move into Yorkshire for the brand and will be followed by the official opening of the McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the county tomorrow.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend the opening of the facility, at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, which will construct the carbonfibre tubs, which lie at the heart of all McLaren Automotive vehicles, from 2020.
Gilbert said that it was important for customers of the brand to see the vehicles been manufacturer primarily in the UK and said that there were practical considerations to the creation of the £50m facility.
“Having control of our supply chain is extremely important,” he said. “In terms of being able to control our own production and more quickly support the aftersales requirements of our customers, it is a real advantage.”