McLaren Automotive, the world’s newest car company, today announces its launch partner in Belgium, with Ginion Group in Brussels selected to represent the company.
A number of outstanding and experienced automotive retailers were considered for the Belgian market, which is also anticipated to satisfy prospective McLaren customers from The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Ginion will begin selling the McLaren MP4-12C from spring 2011 as part of an initial European network of 13 retailers. 1000 12Cs will be produced in 2011, with a full model range of around 4,000 McLaren high-performance sports cars produced in the UK annually by the middle of the decade.
Antony Sheriff, McLaren Automotive’s Managing Director: “I am very pleased to confirm Ginion as our Benelux retailer and a key part in our plans to launch McLaren Automotive and the 12C around the world. With a rich motor racing heritage, and many sports car enthusiasts, the region will be an influential guide as to our success in Europe. In order to be part of the McLaren family, it is vital that our retail partners understand our business, our prospective customers and the technological innovations at the heart of the 12C. Ginion was the obvious candidate in this regard and will make the perfect introduction in Belgium and the Benelux region for McLaren Automotive,” Sheriff concluded.
Christian Marti, McLaren Automotive’s German-born Regional Director for Europe, said: “The competition to represent McLaren in Belgium and the Benelux region was incredibly encouraging. The demand to be one of the first McLaren retailers was huge with over 600 retailers considered for the initial 35 representatives. Those numbers have been distilled to just a handful of the world’s best, epitomised by Ginion in Brussels, and I am convinced they will deliver the extremely high levels of service we are promising our customers.
“During the selection process we presented a strong business plan, innovative product line-up, and focus on what is best for the retailer – sensible investment and attention to customer service and aftersales. We call it ‘sanity, not vanity’. The franchises will be bespoke McLaren showrooms, but we are allowing our partners the freedom to invest in local suppliers and materials. Ginion Group was encouraged by our attitude to business. We aim to have fewer retailers selling a smaller volume of higher quality cars than our competitors, with more useable technology and performance; almost the perfect scenario for experienced retailers of premium high-performance sports car,” Marti concluded.
The unique combination of a premium quality car ‘designed around the driver’, absolute focus on the customer, and McLaren’s unrivalled motor racing heritage in Formula 1, Le Mans, Can-Am, and Indy Cars, attracted Belgium’s best car retailers to take up the opportunity of representing McLaren at the birth of its global car company.
Stéphane Sertang, Chairman, Ginion Group said: “Ginion Group is a family business; growth, competence, loyalty and profit are values that drive our company, therefore being part of a unique organization like McLaren could only excite us. We are thrilled to be introducing the 12C to Belgium and look forward to working with McLaren to deliver outstanding levels of customer service.”
McLaren on-tour in Europe: Brussels takes a leading role
McLaren Automotive will launch the 12C, the first in the company’s new range of ‘pure’ McLaren high-performance sports cars, from spring 2011. But Belgian car enthusiasts who already know the Ginion retailer enjoyed the unique opportunity to see the 12C up close, and in an exclusive environment, during private customer sessions and an invite-only cocktail reception on Tuesday 22 June. Reaction to the 12C and McLaren’s plans was strong at what was only the second such event ever outside of McLaren’s Technology Centre.
The 12C is currently on tour around McLaren’s European markets. Through the summer and autumn potential buyers will get the opportunity to really experience the quality, design and unique packaging that McLaren believes will allow the 12C to challenge the world’s most famous sports car brands.
Carbon and Formula 1 at the heart of 12C
Taking on the world’s best premium performance cars, the 12C will be lighter, more powerful, more fuel efficient and more exclusive than its key competition. It will achieve its performance benchmarks by introducing a unique, McLaren-developed one-piece moulded carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis into the ‘core’ sports car segment in a production process that introduces new levels of performance to the market.
All McLarens will be based on this innovative Formula 1-inspired carbon structure; since the 1981 Formula 1 MP4/1 racing car, McLaren has only ever constructed its racing or road cars around carbon chassis.
Key to McLaren’s aspirations has been the integration of Formula 1 with the road car project. Through simulation, the flow of processes and principles between McLaren’s road car and racing car engineers, and the employment of a number of Formula 1 experts on the road car team, the 12C has been designed, developed, and engineered to the same standards, expectations and speed of thought as the company approaches its Formula 1 projects. The fact that McLaren Automotive and McLaren Racing are, literally, just metres apart under the same roof at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC), combined with the 12C’s total focus on aerodynamic performance for its styling, leaves the Formula 1 links clear for all to see.
New factory and global plans
A brand-new manufacturing facility, the McLaren Production Centre (MPC), began construction on March 1 2010 adjacent to the MTC (home of McLaren Group and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team). It will begin to build cars for the Benelux region from spring 2011. The very first Ginion customers will have their cars built on what was the SLR production line in the MTC prior to that in the first months of 2011, ensuring the same quality that McLaren delivered on the SLR, the world’s best-selling super sports car.
Of the 19 countries launching the 12C in 2011, the UK, USA, and Germany will be the company’s biggest markets. Between 300 and 400 cars are planned for North America, 400 to 500 for Europe, and 100 to 200 each for the Middle East, South Africa and Asia Pacific regions. Following the March 2010 McLaren Automotive press conference, The Launch of a New Car Company, over 2,500 potential customers have now expressed a serious intention to buy the 12C.
A handful of retailers will be added in select mature and emerging markets from 2012 as McLaren moves to full production of its model line-up by the middle of the decade. McLaren Automotive’s aim is for its global network to remain smaller, more flexible, and more profitable than competitors’ networks, with a maximum target of around 70 retailers worldwide when the network is complete by the middle of the decade.
The first 12Cs will be delivered to customers in Europe, followed by a phased distribution to retailers in the Middle East, South Africa, North America and Asia Pacific regions.
Prices for the 12C will be confirmed at a later date, but the car will sit in what McLaren terms the ‘core’ sports car segment of cars priced between €140,000 and €200,000 before tax.