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Fast money: McLaren posts its best result on record

By Barry Park, 30 Jun 2017 Industry

Take a bow, Australia. You've helped kick-start McLaren’s ambitions of eventually selling 4500 cars globally

McLaren makes a profit in 2016 wide

OPENING a new dealership on the Gold Coast has helped boutique sports car brand McLaren leap to a record year of sales in 2016, the company has announced.

The sports car maker and Formula 1 team owner delivered 3286 cars in 2016, well up on the 1654 it delivered a year earlier, to make a $A12.4 million profit – its fourth year running of reaching for the black ink instead of the red – off sales worth slightly more than $A1 billion.

Its strongest seller: the Sports Series, its entry-level line of performance cars that is in its first year of production. It alone accounted for 2031 sales, with most buyers slapping down their cash on the 570GT tourer and the 570S coupe.

McLaren makes a profit in 2016“The Super Series also continued its success story thanks, in large part, to the McLaren 675LT Coupe and Spider models,” McLaren said.

“Having both sold out in a matter of weeks, the limited production, even more driver-focused and higher-performance derivatives of the Super Series started production in mid-2015 but continued through 2016,” it said.  

The first model in McLaren’s more hardcore Super Series, a lean and stripped-out 720S, accounted for 1255 cars sold in 2016, despite orders only launching in March.

”[Last year] was an extraordinary year for McLaren Automotive, with a near-doubling of sales and the completion of our 10,000th car,” sales and marketing executive director Jolyon Nash said.

McLaren makes a profit in 2016“While we will never again see another jump in sales volume of this magnitude, the reception to the new 720S and the new 570S Spider has been incredibly positive and initial orders for both are beyond our expectations.”

Sales in the Asia Pacific region, which includes Australia, rose by 90 percent, McLaren said. The car maker sold 93 vehicles here last year, and for the first five months of this year it has already attracted 51 buyers, leaving it 143 percent ahead of the same period last year.

Other areas making money for McLaren include McLaren Special Operations, the company’s bespoke division, and its aftersales unit.

McLaren makes a profit in 2016McLaren spent almost $A220 million on research and development last year across the Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series product families, the company said.

As part of its Track22 Business Plan, a six-year investment scheme that matures in 2022, McLaren will usher in 13 new models or derivatives over the next five years, including the development of an electric drivetrain that will feature in a concept car that may one day spawn an addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series line-up.

It plans to sell 4500 cars a year by 2022, with at least half of them featuring a hybrid drivetrain. The addition of an extra shift at McLaren’s production centre has helped meet demand, with  the factory now able to build 20 cars a day – enough to give it annual production of up to 5000 units.

McLaren makes a profit in 2016In February, McLaren announced it would open a composites technology centre that would help it build a new carbonfibre chassis architecture for use in future models.