McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt says the supercar maker doesn’t need an SUV to generate the cash required to keep renewing its range.
Flewitt made the point when asked by reporters at the Geneva auto show last week whether McLaren needs to follow fellow British brands Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce into the growing niche for ultra-expensive SUVs.
CEO Andy Palmer said last week that Aston Martin would join the segment because its needs to be “less dependent on a narrow product portfolio.”
McLaren, like Italian rival Ferrari, will forgo entering the niche because Flewitt says having a narrow product portfolio is not a problem if you focus on three things. The first is is to avoid being too dependent on one region. McLaren sells 20 percent of its current two-car range in Europe, 35 percent in North American and 30 percent in Asia. “We need to keep that spread,” Flewitt said. “For example, China is very volatile. If we overcommit to China, we’ll lose a load of sales.”
The second key that Flewitt sees is to keep tight control over costs. One way to do that is to cleverly re-packed and re-use already-developed technology. For instance, the entry-level Sports Series variant, which is expected to start at 170,000 euros, that McLaren will debut at the New York auto show next month will use a variation of the carbon-fiber platform and V-8 engine found in the more expensive the 650S and the P1.