The Market Opportunity for McLaren
"I am confident that now is the right time for McLaren Automotive to become a full line high performance sports car manufacturer," stated Ron Dennis.
"Worldwide demand for high performance cars is strong, in large part because of great cars from great competitors. With McLaren joining that list, it will grow stronger still. What we are offering is a new approach to the market, through a skilled, solid, debt-free and risk-managed company. McLaren is right to take this step now and support future growth of high-technology manufacturing and engineering jobs in the UK," Dennis declared.
The market for high performance sports cars has grown substantially since the turn of the century. McLaren divides the market into segments that encompass both more comfort-orientated GT cars and the hard-edged supercars for road and track use.
The `core' segment runs from around 125,000 to 175,000 featuring such cars as the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche 911 Turbo, Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin DB9. A second segment is the `high' category with prices ranging from 175,000 to 250,000 and consists largely of front-engined GT cars such as Ferrari's 599 GTB and 612, with just one mid-engined contender, the Lamborghini Murcielago.
The final segment is the `ultimate' group, a sector more or less initiated by the McLaren F1 in 1993 and now populated by a select group of cars including the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Bugatti Veyron, and cars from the likes of Pagani and Koenigsegg that followed legends such as the Porsche Carrera GT and Ferrari Enzo. In 2011, McLaren will bring technology and performance exclusive to this `ultimate' sector into the `core' segment.
Although the recent economic downturn has affected the performance car sector, just as it has the entire motor industry, McLaren Automotive believes that the `core' segment's growth from 8,000 sales in 2000 to more than 28,000 in 2007 highlights the potential that exists and that it will soon return to at least 2007 levels.
"By the time the 12C is launched in 2011 we expect the economic conditions to be much improved. We have already seen significant interest in the car and the supply of the 12C will be relatively scarce; in its first year we plan to produce just 1,000 cars which represents only 3.5 per cent of the `core' market," explained Antony Sheriff.
"We have created ground-breaking new technology, lightweight engineering solutions, and harnessed real-world motor racing applications. It brings new levels of performance, fuel efficiency and practicality to the 12C's segment. And it will be more exclusive than its principal competition with a price that reflects its lack of ubiquity," he said.
McLaren Automotive will distribute the 12C and future models through a brand-new retail network in all global markets.
Exclusivity, exquisite design and a passionate focus on delivering a wonderful ownership experience will ensure that the small number of retailers around the world are taking on an attractive new brand. This approach will drive excellent customer service and a virtuous circle that retains McLaren customers and brings in new converts as the range expands.
McLaren MP4-12C - What's in a name?
The name of the new McLaren sports car is MP4-12C.What does this signify? As one might expect at McLaren, everything has a purpose and the nomenclature is no exception.
- `MP4' has been the chassis designation for all McLaren Formula 1 cars since 1981. It stands for McLaren Project 4, resulting from the merger of Ron Dennis' Project 4 organisation with McLaren.
- The `12' refers to McLaren's internal Vehicle Performance Index through which it rates key performance criteria both for competitors and for its own cars. The criteria combine power, weight, emissions, and aerodynamic efficiency. The coalition of all these values delivers an overall performance index that has been used as a benchmark throughout the car's development.
- The `C' refers to Carbon, highlighting the unique application of carbon fibre technology to the future range of McLaren sports cars.
The elements of this name represent everything that the McLaren MP4-12C stands for:
- `MP4' represents the racing bloodline
- `12' represents the focus on complete performance and efficiency
- `C' represents the revolutionary Carbon MonoCell