To readers of a certain age, McLaren Automotive celebrating the 20,000th car to be built in Woking might seem a tad surprising.
After all, when production of the iconic F1 ceased in May 1998, McLaren customers had every reason to believe they would be part of a select group of owners. Just 106 cars were built, making the F1 one of the most exclusive cars on the planet.
Little changed for more than a decade, until the next road car – an MP4 12C – left the McLaren Production Centre in July 2011. Today, you have more chance of seeing a newly-registered McLaren than you do a new Lotus.
Last year, McLaren built 4,800 cars, with output remaining at around 5,000 a year into the next decade, before increasing to 6,000. The company must strike a balance between maintaining exclusivity and satisfying increasing global demand.
Production has doubled from around 10 cars a day to more than 20, with 90 percent of the cars built in Woking exported to more than 32 different markets. This truly is a success story for British manufacturing – now marked by the 20k landmark car, a Chicane Grey 600LT Spider.
‘An important milestone’
Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive CEO, said: “Achieving our 20,000th car built is an important milestone for McLaren Automotive. Last year we hand-assembled just over 4,800 cars and we plan to maintain around 5,000 cars a year for the immediate future.
“While demand for our products continues to grow, we aim to balance that to maintain exclusivity for our brand and our customers. It is fitting that we celebrate this achievement with a 600LT Spider which has been a huge success for us with all production slots for the coupe variant now sold out.”
McLaren Automotive employs 2,300 people and is the largest part of the McLaren Group. There are four distinct product groups – Sports Series, Super Series, Ultimate Series and Motorsport – with cars sold via 80 retailers across the world.