McLaren Automotive boss Mike Flewitt has reiterated to the press that the English supercar maker won't follow the same path as rivals Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce, declaring an SUV model as being unnecessary for the company's success.
Asked at the Geneva Motor Show whether he saw a two-door-only model range as being a handicap, Flewitt responded by saying that the financial success of the company hinged on factors beyond the diversity of its lineup.
Rather, Flewitt said the biggest contributors to maintaining profitability were keeping an even distribution of sales between North America, China and Europe; controlling development and manufacturing costs and pushing through regular updates of the existing model range.
The company won't be sitting on its hands though.
The model range is set to double in size when the Sports Series (pictured)launches towards the middle of this year, with three new bodystyles (a coupe, a convertible and an as-yet unknown variant) coming in to sit below the existing Super Series.
The Sports Series models will use a carbon-chassis and turbo 3.8 litre V8 derived from those in the Super Series (there's that cost saving initiative in action), but offer less power for less outlay.
As more affordable entrypoint to McLaren ownership, the Sports series is expected to double global sales to roughly 3300 cars per year. According to Flewitt, the break-even point for McLaren is around 1400 cars.
SUVs, while offering generous profit margins, won't be part of this plan anytime soon.
Besides the high development costs (the mid-engined platform of the Sports Series and Super Series isn't suitable for an SUV, a new one would need to be created), the company says a high-riding crossover simply isn't in McLaren's DNA.
Speaking to TMR late last year, McLaren Automotive Executive Director of Global Sales and Marketing Jolyon Nash said SUVs and McLaren don't mix well.
"I don’t think you’ll ever see a McLaren SUV, I can’t imagine it," he told TMR.
"We will stay true to what McLaren is. It’s a sports car company, a supercar company, and that’s what we’ll focus on."
"I can’t imagine a McLaren with four doors or five doors, or even three doors.
"I think the success of any strong brand is understanding what the brand represents and understanding what the customers expect of the brand and to be true to that.
"It’s very easy to dilute the brand over time as you maybe shift to meet certain trends in the market, and I don’t think that’s McLaren.".
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