McLaren Automotive posts record international sales

The luxury sports car manufacturer saw a 44 per cent increase in global sales last year, a record for the company. It also saw a rise in new domestic car sales, defying the UK trend.

The McLaren Senna hyper car is the personification of McLaren’s DNA at its most extreme - image courtesy of McLaren.
The McLaren Senna hyper car started production last year. In 2018, the company’s sales rose by over 120 per cent in China. It also sold its 5,000th car in North America – image courtesy of McLaren Automotive.

Following the introduction of two new models, the 570S Spider from McLaren’s Sports Series range as well as the 720S from its Super Series range, the company saw major increases in car sales to its European and Chinese markets. 

European sales rose 44% while domestic sales were 5% higher. China saw the biggest market growth though, with a 123% year-on-year increase. The company also celebrated selling its 5,000th car in North America, which continues to be the firm’s biggest market.  

A spokesman for McLaren told The Manufacturer that “along with new retail openings, all helped to strengthen our brand position in China last year and lead to better sales.

He added that expansion was being planned by the firm, saying: “We plan to increase production to reach 6,000 cars per annum by 2025 in line with our Track25 business plan and also add new retail markets. For example, we’re currently looking at India to add to the current list of 32 countries that we already have a retail presence in.”

McLaren Automotive at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2018 - image courtesy of The Manufacturer.
McLaren Automotive at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2018 – image courtesy of The Manufacturer.

Award winning 

Having been crowned ‘The Manufacturer of the Year’ 2017, McLaren Automotive added a further trophy to its cabinet in November when it took home The Manufacture MX Award 2018 for ‘Innovation & Design’ – sponsored by Autodesk.

Click here to read a round-up of the winners and reactions from all those who won big at The Manufacturer MX Awards 2018 – the only peer-reviewed and judged programme of its kind.

New McLaren car registrations in the UK have also risen. Figures released today from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) showed that total new McLaren car registrations rose 10% in 2018 from the previous year despite new-car registrations in the UK declining by 7% overall. Only 12 car brands saw sales increase last year.

The fall was largely caused by a 30% drop in demand for new diesel cars. The trade association blames “anti-diesel rhetoric and negative fiscal measures” for the considerable decrease. Diesel car manufacturing has suffered from the increasing awareness of the environmental damage caused by diesel cars. The SMMT also cite the “ongoing impact of new regulation alongside planned model and technology changes” for the decline.

The rise in electric hybrids and pure electric vehicles has been quite considerable. Pure electric vehicles rose by 14% in the year. Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rose by a quarter, though SMMT blames the removal of the Government’s plug-in car grant for PHEVs in October for slowing the growth. 

In the last year, McLaren started producing the McLaren Senna car, named after the late Brazilian Formula 1 driver. It also unveiled Track25, £1.2bn plan to go completely hybrid by 2025. It aims to produce 6,000 mid-engined sports cars and supercars a year, a new Ultimate Series car to succeed its McLaren P1 model, and enhance technology regarding cyber protection, vehicle tracking, and over-the-air (OTA) software updates.

Last July, SMMT found that McLaren Automotive was the fastest growing luxury car brand in the UK. It recorded 48% growth in the first half of 2018, with 390 vehicles registered in the first half of 2018. 


Reporting by Harry Wise