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570S Spider sales spur McLaren growth

Tops dropped: The 570S Spider is on sale now and is expected to be more popular than its hardtop sibling.

Dealership tally to rise from three to five as McLaren volume grows

20 Oct 2017

MCLAREN has predicted its 570S Spider will outsell its coupe sibling to become one of the brand’s top sellers in Australia, with a dealership expansion plan now on the horizon to meet strong 2018 and 2019 sales growth.

The 570S Spider goes on sale this month for a $56,750 premium over its 570S Coupe sibling, at $435,750 plus on-road costs. However, thanks to a carbon-fibre chassis – dubbed a Mono Cell II – the version with an electrically folding hardtop roof does not lose rigidity or performance compared with the tin-top version.

The weight difference between 570S Spider and 570S Coupe is 46kg – owing only to the two-piece roof that can be raised or lowered in just 15 seconds at up to 40km/h – and McLaren global head of product Alex Long told GoAuto that buyers valued the “no compromise” approach to drop-top production.

“Typically we launch the coupe first and then bring a Spider, and once the Spider’s in market it tends to dominate the sales mix because you don’t lose any of the rigidity in the driving,” Mr Long said at the national media reveal of the McLaren 570S Spider in Sydney last week.

“If you look at a lot of sportscars, traditionally, you take the top off and a lot of work goes into strengthening the chassis. It adds weight where you don’t want it, in the centre of the car. If you’ve bought the car for handling, then you’d avoid the Spider in that instance“With McLaren, we’ve not had that. We add very, very little weight … because the stiffness in the car is already in the tub and the chassis.

“We’ve been very successful with Spiders to date (and) next year the Spider will be the dominant mix of production back in England, so for sure this will be our biggest production car next year. Our production is largely derived by the demand in the market. It’s the customers coming in and saying, ‘Hey, you know I'm really interested in the Spider.&rsquo.”

The 570S Spider also tops the McLaren Sports Series range, slotting in above the $325,000 540C and $406,800 570GT, but just below the start of the McLaren Super Series line-up kicking off with the $464,000 650S Coupe.

Its 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine follows the 570S Coupe with 419kW at 7500rpm and 600Nm between 5000rpm and 6500rpm, teaming with the same seven-speed automatic transmission and accelerating 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds.

McLaren Asia/Pacific managing director George Biggs said he expected that global trends favouring the 570S Spider over the 570S Coupe would be reflected in Australia, revealing that a healthy order bank exists for the new drop-top and confirming that the first examples will be delivered to owners “in the next couple of weeks”.

“I think if you look at us historically, we’ve had new products that has brought us to a different part of the market,” Mr Biggs told GoAuto.

“So Sports Series is starting to bring more customers in, our Super Series product has been extremely successful. We have got a good order bank from this car (570S Spider) and obviously, the Sport Series still maintains that as well, the coupe and GT. So we’re in a strong position for Spider next year.”

According to VFACTS September results, McLaren sales have soared by 41.8 per cent this year from 55 sales last year to 78 this year.

Mr Biggs had previously said the brand would shift a record 100 vehicles in Australia in 2017, and McLaren is now on track to achieve slightly more than that by the end of December.

However, Mr Biggs said that he not only expected growth to continue in 2018 and 2019, but forward orders for the 570S Spider and also the imminent 720S were even greater indicators of potential growth than what can be seen around current models on current sales charts.

“We’re looking at people who are (future) customer orders, and certainly for this car and for 720S, for our cars that are currently on sale, we’re extremely positive about next year,” he continued.

“It’s interesting because all the registrations stuff you see, that’s a lagging indicator. We’re looking at the next six, nine months’ worth of demand. I’m not looking at the previous twelve.

“I still see that we’ll continue our strong presence in the Australia market.

Supercars and sportscars ... the numbers are largely a product of product launches and when we bring new growth to the market.

“I think that next year will be strong. I think at this juncture next year, it will help us be able to expand our brand and we’ll just see growth through the following year as well.”

Mr Biggs said he expected Australia to retain or improve its ranking as the second largest market in the Asia/Pacific region and the seventh worldwide, with the current dealership network now set to increase from three to five nationwide.

“It’s important for us to continue that growth story here,” he continued.

“We’ve also expanded our network bridge across three states now, so Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast. As we move forward, there’s two clear cities in Australia that are always a question.

“We are seeing demand at those cities and we’re open to serving those out of our current operations right now. But do I see us developing that over the next, let’s say anywhere on the horizon in the next 24 months? Yeah, I do.

“But we have to make sure that the demand has led there and that we have the right partner that gives the right service.”

While Mr Biggs did not nominate the cities McLaren is expected to expand into, GoAuto understands that Adelaide and Perth would be targeted.

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