McLaren Automotive MPCMcLaren Automotive has revealed that 33% of its 1,200-strong workforce is an engineer – a percentage it describes as much bigger than the usual car company split.

It’s a figure McLaren says supports its claim of being a high-tech, engineering-led car company focused on developing ever-better Ferrari-challenging cars – the latest of which, McLaren’s 675LT, is now in production.

What’s more, this high engineering makeup is likely to continue in the future: McLaren says it’s also unique in investing so much of its profits back into engineering.

Last year, it invested more than £90 million in R&D and the figure this year is expected to top £120 million.

“Engineers love the impossible,” said Mark Gayton, project manager of the new McLaren 675LT. “We set heady targets and then keep on saying they’re impossible to achieve, until we achieve them.

“And then, having already done the impossible, we think about what to do with the next car…”

Most of McLaren’s workforce is in the UK, added a spokesman, and 50% of parts to make its cars are sourced here too – yet 92% of production is exported.

McLaren Automotive: the half-a-billion-pound car company

McLaren a profitable car company: since opening its doors four years ago, McLaren Automotive has been profitable for two of them.

Turnover swelled from £285 million to £475 million last year, and profits before tax went up from £4.5 million to £15 million.

Sales rose 18% last year to 1,649 cars: by 2017, when the new McLaren 570S Sports Series range is on sale, McLaren aims to build 4,000 cars a year – but says it will not build any more than that.

4,000 units a year is its target, added the spokesman: “we can be profitable at that level, and the size fits us perfectly.

“We certainly won’t be looking to other sectors outside the sports car arena to grow our business further.

“We will not be making an SUV…”

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