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McLaren set to grow in Australia

Pole position: The first, pre-production P1 took center stage at the opening of Melbourne's first McLaren dealership this month, and has traveled to Australia especially to celebrate the launch.

Greater McLaren presence, growing local team and infrastructure set for Australia

McLaren logo1 Dec 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

MCLAREN says the opening of its second Australian dealership and the confirmation of a new entry level Sports Series model marks the latest chapter of its Australian growth plan, which it hopes will lead to more of the British supercars on our roads.

The doubling of its dealer network will be followed by a doubling of the product range when a more affordable option – at this stage named the Sports Series – arrives alongside the soon-to-be lone 650S offering after the model on which it is based, the 12C, is phased out.

With significant growth of the McLaren brand planned in Australia, the company's sales and marketing executive director Jolyon Nash predicted the appointment of a sales and operations manager specifically to serve the local market, which is currently overseen by a single Asia Pacific role.

“I think it's likely to happen at some point in the future,” he said. “This is a very important market for us, it's got very good potential, there's a real sportscar culture here so we think over time the McLaren presence will grow and it's going to become one of our major markets.” Per capita, Australia is one of the world's strongest high-performance car markets and Mr Nash says a love of motorsport and road-going sportscars makes the market ripe for McLaren growth.

“There's a natural home for McLaren here with this being a country having a strong following of Formula 1, it's right that McLaren is represented here on a much larger scale. We think for the long term there's great potential in this market and it will be one of our top-ten markets.” In addition to the company's second local dealership, which recently opened in Melbourne, McLaren is weighing up where to establish a third outlet.

“We are looking at where we have sold cars and where we think there is potential to sell more cars, so it's hard to say exactly where next but we think there are some opportunities elsewhere,” said Mr Nash.

“As our product range expands we will need to expand our presence in Australia.” “Our dealer network has grown pretty considerably over the last two years. We have just over 60 dealers operating around the world and that will continue to expand over the next two years.” For now, Australian sales are overseen by Asia Pacific head of sales and operations George Biggs, who said while business is steady, building a stronger McLaren presence in the region was the main priority.

“My market looks at Korea all the way down to New Zealand and we've got a strong customer demand across the region and we are seeing a really strong understanding of the brand, which I think is more important than total sales,” he said.

“For us its: do the customers understand what we are trying to tell them, do they understand where we are positioned? And it's been really strong in terms of reception so far.” The new model known simply as McLaren Sports Series will be launched in the latter half of next year with more details expected closer to the launch date, including exact Australian specification.

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