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McLaren names new chief executive

Well appointed: New McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt has had previous involvement with major projects such as the 12C Spider.

Former Ford of Europe manufacturing chief takes the reins at McLaren Automotive

McLaren logo8 Jul 2013

McLAREN Automotive has announced that chief operating officer Mike Flewitt will lead the company as its new CEO, having taken the reins at the British sportscar marque in recent months from former managing director Antony Sheriff.

Overseas reports indicate that Mr Sheriff has now officially left the company after being ‘on leave’ since early this year, although McLaren has made no reference to the US-born executive’s departure.

An Englishman, Mr Flewitt joined McLaren in May last year as COO after a four-month stint as vice-president of manufacturing for Ford of Europe.

He previously served for two years as director of vehicle operations for the Blue Oval brand in Europe, and prior to that spent three years as general manager of Ford Otosan, Ford’s joint venture with Koc Holding AS in Turkey.

Mr Flewitt started his automotive career as a trainee at Ford’s assembly plant in Halewood, England, and went on to hold a variety of positions in manufacturing.

In 1995, he left the company to become production director at Rolls-Royce, and in 1998 worked at AutoNova AB Volvo in Sweden as managing director.

Two years later he took up the role of operations group manager at TWR Group Limited, and in 2003 returned to Ford as production quality director, overseeing all of Ford’s European manufacturing operations.

At McLaren, Mr Flewitt has been involved in the launch of the 12C Spider – sister model to the 12C coupe – and the exclusive million-dollar P1 hypercar.

 center imageLeft: McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.

The company is working towards 4000 annual sales by mid-decade from its factory in Woking, England, and plans to have a global network of 50 retailers in place by the end of this year.

“We have a solid product and business plan in place for the future which I look forward to steering,” Mr Flewitt said.

“McLaren is a very exciting place to be right now.”

McLaren Automotive chairman Ron Dennis said: “Mike has proven to be an automotive professional of the highest calibre and since joining the company one year ago he has contributed significantly to the delivery of the McLaren Automotive vision.

“The company has already achieved a great deal, including launching three of the world’s most exciting high performance sportscars, establishing a global dealer network and developing the world-class McLaren Production Centre.

“McLaren Automotive has laid solid foundations for a great future and I am confident that as CEO Mike will play a major role in helping the company to achieve its potential.”

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