British supercar maker McLaren Automotive is looking to expand to Asian markets ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO) by 2025. In a meeting with reporters in Detroit, Reuters reports that McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt said that the demand in Asian markets outside China remains strong, and the manufacturer was planning to open dealerships in Vietnam and the Philippines.
Flewitt said, “We need to put more cars into Asia. The next big ones are India and Russia. We’re not in either and probably should be.” Performance and supercar makers can take a leaf out of Lamborghini’s book, which despite the industry-wide slowdown this year, expects sales in India to grow by 30 percent. The Italian manufacturer’s rise in our market can be put down to the strong sales of the Lamborghini Urus SUV, which delivered 50 units in just over a year.
However unlike its rivals (Lamborghini, Ferrari and Aston Martin) McLaren does not plan to enter the SUV market. “We couldn’t afford to do it,” Flewitt said, adding, “It just doesn’t fit the brand.”
Instead, McLaren will bank its expansion strategy on a hybrid car with a new architecture under the skin that will be unveiled in mid-2020. The carmaker's UK sales have fallen, and that's their largest market. Flewitt revealed that McLaren sold about 4,800 cars globally in 2018, and is on track for a slightly lower number in 2019.
The CEO went on to say that by 2024, McLaren will have an additional production capacity with a view to increase sales to 6,000 cars a year without having to sacrifice profit margins.
Some time ago, the CEO said that the owners of the McLaren Group are considering an initial public offering by 2025. However, on December 3, he stated that an IPO is only likely to come after all parts of the group (including McLaren Racing and a unit that markets technology) are generating profit.
Recently, the carmaker unveiled the new Elva roadster – which is part of the brand’s Ultimate Series of supercars and is limited to just 399 units. The handful of McLarens seen in India today have been brought in as private imports.