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McLaren is a name that has long gone down in petrol head lore for producing some of the most powerful cars on Earth. Back in the early 1990s, the legendary manufacturer went up against Jaguar in the ultimate supercar battle of the time. It was the McLaren F1 against the Jaguar XJ220, and the F1 won. The reason for McLaren’s victory had a lot do with the fact that the F1 was the more exciting car and the fact that the 1991 recession and cost overruns at Jaguar made the XJ220 a less appealing car for most buyers.
But although the company had a great legacy, it wasn’t clear how it was going to make money in the long run, especially in the consumer market.
Things then began to change after around 2010 when the carmaker introduced its “budget” MP4-12C, a sort of everyman's supercar designed to go up against the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the time.
It was by no means the most passionate car. You could tell that it had been made in the bowels of McLaren’s ultra-hygienic facility in Woking in Surrey. But it did have one thing that the competition didn’t: raw performance. In terms of bang for the buck, it was probably the best offering at the time. And it meant that McLaren could expand its operations significantly. With the help of expertise from other car makers, Mclaren improved the ride quality of its cars as well as made it almost impossible to spin them in the corners, allowing any old idiot to drive them and still have fun.
The success of this car, as well as the hyper-fast P1, meant that the total volume of cars shipped by the company grew enormously. And this is why this year has been a good one for the enterprise. It recently announced that the ten thousandth car had just rolled off its production line, making the automaker officially mass market, something that they never imagined that they would be.
Since the MP4-12C, Mclaren has had enormous success with its successor, the 570S, another car aimed at the “budget” supercar market (if there is such a thing). Granted, as Money Expert shows, this car isn’t for every budget. The insurance numbers are through the roof, thanks to the £140,000 price tag and the fact that the car sports more than 500 bhp.
All this growth in sales has meant that the company has had to expand. Demand for the company’s cars has been so massive that it has had to double the number of shifts and increase its workforce to more than 1750 employees, adding 250 in the last 12 months.
It took McLaren more than 42 months from the building of its first road-going car back in 2011 to build 5,000 cars. In the last 22 months alone, it’s made another 5,000, showing that the company is experiencing profound acceleration in its sales. Many put the success down to the company’s legendary name and the original F1. The future looks bright.