Record sales for supercar maker McLaren

Emma Haslett
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The 675LT was launched this year (Source: McLaren)

British supercar maker McLaren Automotive today reported record sales - adding it expects that figure to double this year.

The figures

The company said it had made 1,654 deliveries in 2015 - only marginally higher than last year's 1,649, but nevertheless a record figure.

Sales revenue fell 5.2 per cent to £450.6m, while pre-tax profits fell 63.8 per cent, to £5.4m.

McLaren launched an unprecedented five new products this year, which it reckons can push sales up to more than 3,000 vehicles next year as it adds a second shift at its ultra-shiny production facility (it said it increased its workforce by 16 per cent this year in preparation).

Read more: McLaren chief executive - make an SUV? Over my dead body

Why it's interesting

One of the UK's best known luxury brands, it's hard to believe McLaren - whose cars start at roughly £250,000, while the highest-end models top £1m - only began manufacturing in earnest in 2010.

This year it launched its Track22 business plan, which will take it through until 2022, and committed it to spending between 20 and 25 per cent of revenue on research and development - about £1bn over the six-year period.

At least half its new cars will by hybrid by the end of that period, it said - while it's in the process of developing a fully electric powertrain.

As with all British manufacturers, it is likely to be affected one way or the other by the Brexit vote - although chief executive Mike Flewitt has previously told City A.M. that it may be reasonably well cushioned.

"We're not, as a company, dependent on Europe. Close to 70 per cent of our exports are to dollar-denominated countries," he said.

What McLaren said

Flewitt said:

2015 was a critical year in the development of McLaren Automotive. The launch of the Sports Series opens McLaren up to an entirely new audience and will be pivotal in developing our sales volumes from the 2015 levels of 1,600 to nearly triple that number by 2020.

For this to be achievable, we need to remain profitable but also continue to invest in our future product portfolio. In 2015, this amounted to £124m, nearly 30 per cent of revenues. This level of commitment to investing in future products is core to our business strategy, as highlighted by the recently-announced Track22 business plan that commits us to investing £1bn in research and development, delivering no less than 15 all-new cars or derivatives by 2022.

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