Ferrari SpA and Lamborghini SpA should expect some serious competition from McLaren Group, which is planning to spend up to $1 billion to develop and market a lineup of sports cars.
In London, Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive’s managing director, said that the carmaker intends to introduce 13 models and variants in the next several years.
To expand sales, McLaren had recently opened its first dealership at London’s One Hyde Park. It expects to open 35 dealerships globally in 2011.
This includes nine in the U.S., which remains to be the largest market for luxury cars. Executive Chairman Ron Dennis told Bloomberg that it’s a “fantastic challenge” to enter the market with a new brand.
Sheriff said that so far, it has released around $320 million for the development of its 200mph MP4-12C. Last month, McLaren revealed a track version, which is priced at 310,000 pounds ($500,000). The MP4-12C road car succeeds the McLaren F1 (the most expensive car in the 1990s and the fastest with a top speed of 240 mph).
So far, McLaren has received more than 2,000 orders. There is a two-year waiting list for this model. The MP4-12C’s name is derived from the MP4 designation meant for all of McLaren’s race cars since 1981.
The latest was the MP4-26 driven by Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. The “C” on the name refers to its carbon construction while the “12” comes from “internal performance criteria” such as weight, aerodynamics, power and down force.