McLaren eyes eight dealerships in China by 2014

Article by Anita Panait, on June 21, 2012

McLaren is planning to have eight dealerships in China by early 2014, a testament to the British automaker’s belief that the demand for supercars in the country will keep on rising. According to Ian Gorsuch, McLaren's Asia Pacific director, the company is planning to roll out around 100 to 150 units of its 592-horsepower MP4-12C in the first 12 months after opening an initial four dealerships in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.

MP4-12C is currently priced at around £168,500 pounds in the United Kingdom. Gorsuch disclosed that McLaren will open its first four showrooms by mid-2013, and another four in 2014.

McLaren said in June 2011 that it will invest around $1 billion to introduce 13 models and variants in the coming years to attract consumers from supercar rivals Ferrari and Lamborghini. The supercar maker opened 35 showrooms in 19 markets, including Japan, in 2011, and is temporarily refraining from pushing into China until it could produce more, Gorsuch said. 

McLaren's Asia Pacific director remarked that the company chose to first open showrooms in high brand-building markets like Japan, and then expand in other parts of Asia. McLaren has also opened showrooms in Singapore and Hong Kong this year.

The demand for luxury cars continues to soar in China as more people get wealthy in the country. Supercar makers Ferrari and Lamborghini consider China as their second biggest market, while Bentley regards the country as its largest market.

As a timeless piece of automotive design, the McLaren MP4-12C flaunts its styled engineering by holding the same standards as McLaren's Formula 1 cars, and the celebrated McLaren F1. In these events, every little thing is done for a reason and all details, lines and surfaces are designed for function as well as style.

According to Frank Stephenson, McLaren Automotive Design Director, a number of sports cars and super cars possess head-turning features which fade at some point in time. Great design, on the other hand, is timeless and remains significant years later. To him, McLaren F1 is one of the latter and he is hoping that 12C will be the kind of fashionable car that looks great today and will still look incredible in years to come.

The 12C's body has been styled to sustain sector-leading levels of downforce which then consequently contributes to sector-leading levels of lateral grip and stability. Air flow has been frantically managed to support all performance figures and light weight goals. An example of this is when placing the radiators adjacent to the engine; allowing the car to remain narrow and light. On the other hand, the designers are faced with the challenge of providing ample air flow to the radiators. To solve this issue, the model has been fitted with large side air scoops and integrated turning vanes that enhance drama but are actually built purely for function. They’re sized as required; no more, no less.

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