If you are into sportscars, chances are you must have drooled over McLaren cars pretty fondly. Sadly, McLaren does not sell cars in India, so seeing one on the road is out of question. You must have had to satisfy yourself with posters and videos of McLarens on the internet. However, things just might be about to change now. McLaren Automotive is looking to expand into Asian markets ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO) by 2025.
McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt, in a meeting with reporters in Detroit, said that there is strong demand in Asian market outside of China and that the British carmaker was planning to open dealerships in Vietnam and the Philippines. Flewitt also said, “We need to put more cars into Asia. The next big ones are India and Russia. We’re not in either and probably should be.”
In fact, India has made a strong case for itself with performance and supercar makers. Just this year, Lamborghini sold more than 50 units of the Urus in India in just over a year. Lamborghini expects sales in India to grow by 30 percent and that is despite the overall slowdown that the automobile industry has seen this year. However, Lamborghini’s success can largely be attributed to the fact that the Urus is an SUV. Similarly, Ferrari and Aston Martin will also have SUVs in their lineup pretty soon. The DBX is already coming to India and the world is awaiting the unveil of the Porusangue.
McLaren however have said that they will never build an SUV. “We couldn’t afford to do it,” Flewitt said, adding, “It just doesn’t fit the brand.” Instead, McLaren will bank its expansion strategy on a hybrid car with a new architecture under the skin that will be unveiled in mid-2020. McLaren’s largest market remains the UK and the carmaker’s sales have fallen in their home country. Flewitt revealed that McLaren sold about 4,800 cars globally in 2018, and is on track for a slightly lower number in 2019.
Flewitt also said that by 2024, McLaren will have an additional production capacity with a view to increase sales to 6,000 cars a year without having to sacrifice profit margins. Some time ago, the CEO said that the owners of the McLaren Group are considering an initial public offering by 2025. However, on December 3, he stated that an IPO is only likely to come after all parts of the group (including McLaren Racing and a unit that markets technology) are generating profit. The handful of McLarens seen in India today have been brought in as private imports.