McLaren Making Moves in Texas

McLaren is making some big moves in the state of Texas! To learn more about the British sports car firm's plans for the Lone Star State, I sat down with McLaren North America President, Tony Joseph.

Since launching their first supercar in the early 1990s, the McLaren F1, it would be two decades before the brand released a new car, the MP4-12C. Since 2011 the company has produced the 12C, P1, 650S, 625C, 675LT, 570S, 540C, 570GT, 600LT, 720S, the Senna, the Speedtail, and the new GT, an impressive portfolio of performance cars that the company is continually adding to. In fact, last year Mclaren unveiled a plan to roll out a total of 18 new models by 2025 with a focus on hybrid technology that will enhance the driver's experience and the overall performance of the cars. 

The United States is McLaren's largest market and one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S. is Texas, a stat that Tony chalks up to their dealership partner Park Place which operates both McLaren of Dallas and McLaren of Houston, the state's only two McLaren dealerships. Sales have been coming largely from customers who are currently driving vehicles like a Porsche 911 or Audi R8. While for many buyers of Sports Series of cars a McLaren is their first exotic sports car, the Super and Ultimate Series cars are attracting longtime sports car enthusiasts and collectors. 

To give you an idea of how fast McLaren has grown, in 2018 McLaren sold 4,806 cars worldwide, while Lamborghini (which has been producing cars since 1963) sold just 944 more cars in 2018. The bulk of Lambo's increase coming from the newly released Urus SUV, take the Urus out of the mix, and McLaren sold over 800 more 'cars' globally than Lamborghini, an impressive feat. 

McLaren's rapid growth can also be attributed to the philosophy that is carried through from corporate to the dealership level, which is focused on delivering an incredible ownership experience. From interactive track driving events like the Pure McLaren Experience to multi-day rallies to Monterey Car Week, McLaren is focused on getting their owners behind the wheel of the car and learning what it can do. 

As McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt told me at a track day, "It doesn't matter if you own a pre-owned sports series, or you just took delivery of a seven-figure Senna if you own a McLaren you are part of the family." But unlike many brands, it isn't just a marketing line, McLaren events do feel different than other brands, the events aren't pretentious, the team members are car enthusiasts, and when talking to a McLaren employee you really gain a sense of the passion they have for the cars the build.   

McLaren is also making moves in Texas at the corporate level, moving their North American headquarters to Dallas later this year, a move that will give the company the room they need to grow and hopefully for McLaren fans in Texas, more access to events and experiences here.

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