McLaren has never been serious about doing business in India so far, but its perception seems to be changing now. The Surrey, England-based manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and supercars is looking at ways to increase its reach, and a part of that could be entering India.
In an interaction with reporters in Detroit recently, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt hinted that the company sees huge potential in the Asian markets and is now planning to operate dealerships in the Philippines and Vietnam.
Mclaren has been fighting with slumping sales in the UK which happens to be the biggest market for the brand and hence entry into newer markets doesn't come as a surprise. The company is on its way to record lesser sales in 2019 in comparison to 2018, when it had sold close to 4,000 cars globally. But since there are several international markets which still need to be explored (including India), the brand is positive about its future. McLaren hopes to hit 6,000 unit sales annually by 2024 and is also working on expanding its overall production capacity. About the launch in India, below is what Flewitt said:
“We need to put more cars into Asia. The next big ones are India and Russia. We’re not in either and probably should be.”
The entry of McLaren in India will pose a direct threat to the Italian marque Lamborghini, which despite the market slowdown expects to grow by 30% next fiscal. Lamborghini is sailing on the rising tide in India with its Urus; it has managed to sell 50 units of the super-SUV in just over a year.
As for the possibility of making an SUV, McLaren is completely against it. Flewitt said that unlike its rival brands such as Lamborghini, Ferrari and Aston Martin, McLaren has no plans around SUVs as it doesn't go well with the brand's image. “We couldn’t afford to do it,” he said, adding, “It just doesn’t fit the brand.” The company will invest in hybrid models based on a new architecture which will debut by mid-2020, though.