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McLaren Automotive outlines Middle East plans

McLaren Automotive has released more details about its expectations for, the Middle East market, where it will launch the first in its range of high performance sports cars from spring 2011. The announcement follows the world debut of the new McLaren MP4-12C at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England, where the two most recent Formula 1 world champions, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, unveiled the new car.

The MP4-12C will be sold through a high-quality, dedicated and profitable global retail network located in the most popular and mature regions for sports car sales. McLaren Automotive believes that its partners will be both commercially successful and committed to the launch of a new brand that is set to challenge the world’s best sports car businesses.

McLaren Automotive plans to initially sell the 12C across 19 countries. It is expected that its retail partners in the Middle East will account for between 10 and 20 per cent of the overall sales volume. The company will be represented throughout the region through a retail network in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

The search for retail partners has been moving quickly across the Middle East, a region of particular importance for the company. So far, around 30 applications have been received for regional dealership franchises, and the selection process has reached the shortlist stage. Moreover, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the two countries in the region that are expected to account for the bulk of the sales, are now at letter-of-intent stage, with an announcement set to be made shortly.

“We have been making significant progress in finding the right representatives to market the MP4-12C, the first in our range of high performance sports cars,” said Ian Gorsuch, McLaren Automotive’s regional director for the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. “The Middle East is not only important because it will account for up to 20 per cent of overall sales, but because it is also full of highly-educated car enthusiasts who will appreciate the excellence of the MP4-12C.”

“The unveiling of the MP4-12C last week provided us with a remarkable day during which we brought together into the public domain all of the different aspects that have gone into creating a world-class, high performance car company. All of us at McLaren are immensely proud of what has been achieved so far and what we will achieve as the company grows.”

Across the world, up to 1,000 12Cs will be delivered in 2011, with early indications from over 1600 customer registrations on the company’s website validating McLaren Automotive’s strategy of developing a high-quality, performance-oriented sports car that draws on the spirit of Formula 1 and delivers real-world technological advances. The company has already received 1,600 ‘expressions of interest to purchase’, even before the official order book is opened.

McLaren Automotive anticipates developing a full range of high performance sports cars by the middle of the decade, and its commitment to deliver the best quality service and residual values to its customers has proved tempting for leading luxury car retailers in all markets.

Meanwhile, work has begun on McLaren Automotive’s 32,000-sq-metre, high-tech manufacturing facility located at McLaren Group’s headquarters in Woking, England. The McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in which the new range of McLaren high-performance sports cars will be built broke ground on March 1, 2010. The facility will be completed in just 12 months, with the first MP4-12C moving through the MPC production line in early 2011.

The MPC will be the home of McLaren Automotive’s range of highly efficient sports cars, supporting up to 800 jobs and manufacturing around 4,000 cars by the middle of the decade. It will promote new standards of quality being introduced into the sports car market, as well as innovative new technologies unique to McLaren Automotive. All components on the cars will be bespoke to McLaren Automotive.

Ron Dennis, Chairman of McLaren Automotive, said: “We have long held the dream of building a range of McLaren high performance sports cars that take the raw elements of Formula 1 principles, processes and performance and forge them into a unique package; one that offers customer-focused requirements of quality, efficiency, comfort and reliability.”

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