McLaren crossover - CEO on firm’s new-look future

McLaren crossover - CEO on firm’s new-look future

McLaren targets profits before EVs. CEO predicts “difficult year” as firm sets out plan to restructure and improve quality.

McLaren will look to extend its range beyond its core mid-engined supercar models, but not before 2028. Speaking to Autocar at Goodwood, McLaren CEO Michael Leiters said the firm’s immediate priorities were to complete a reorganisation and recapitalisation of the company “to bring the company on the right road to profitability” when asked how plans for a long-rumoured crossover model were progressing.

McLaren SUV crossover

“If we are on the right road for profitability, we will think about extension across all segments,” he added. “We call it ‘shared performance’. Shared performance could be everything that has more than two doors and/or more than two seats. “This is something we will think about later. We didn’t make a decision on that. It’s definitely a business opportunity for us, but I don’t see that in the near future. If you consider what I said – recapitalisation and then going to profitability, plus the development time – this won’t be before 2028.” Leiters is just over a year into his role at McLaren and has spent much of his time reorganising the company’s internal structure. The focus is now on working with existing shareholders “to recapitalise the company to fund and restructure” to allow it to return to profitability with the shareholders “aligned with this vision and business plan”.

Leiters added that while this work is ongoing, 2023 will be a “difficult year” for revenues and profitability. This is because in parallel with the structure and finance activity, he is working on improving the quality of McLaren cars, and that means its Woking factory is not operating at full capacity.

The Artura hybrid supercar has not yet reached full production capacity, said Leiters, admitting this will cause customer delays, including to the US launch. “The Artura is a fantastic car, and we don’t want to damage the image by taking risks,” he said, in reference to the consequences of delivering cars not at the required quality. “We still have to ‘robust’ our organisation and supply chain on that.” Some 500 Arturas have been delivered to date. On future electric supercar models, Leiters said there were three pillars to the firm’s line-up and plans: pure ICE models, hybrids and EVs. The 750S and Artura sit in the first two pillars respectively, and Leiters expects hybrids to make up 90% of McLaren volumes in five years’ time. On EVs, he said the firm “did not want to do a car weighing 2000kg and with 2000bhp, as anyone can do that”. Instead, if McLaren was to launch an electric car, it would have to be “comparable to a 750S weightwise”. Leiters added: “We are working on concepts and have really exciting ideas. If in time it is there, it has to outperform what we can do with ICE.”

Long-mooted McLaren SUV would only become a reality after 2028

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