McLaren to base regional HQ in Bahrain
Manama, April 15, 2010
McLaren Automotive, a UK-based company which plans to launch high-performance sports cars, will base its regional head office in Bahrain.
All distributor-side management, marketing and support functions for the company will be managed from its new Manama office.
The British car company, which was officially launched in March, will begin sales in 2011 with its first ‘pure’ McLaren, the MP4-12C.
Ian Gorsuch, McLaren Automotive’s regional director for Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, said the company will announce its first dealerships in the region within a few weeks.
He said Bahrain was chosen for McLaren Automotive's regional office for a number of strong reasons. “With a Formula 1 racetrack, an excellent business environment and its close proximity to one of our major shareholders, Manama was the obvious location for our regional head office,” said Gorsuch.
The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir has hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the past seven years and has excellent facilities for performance testing and hosting events. Last year, McLaren Automotive subjected a 12C prototype to extreme hot-weather testing in the heat, dust and humidity of the Gulf summer. Testing was conducted at the BIC as well as on the country’s desert roads.
Also, the competitive cost and ease of setting up in the kingdom, in addition to the attractive lifestyle offered by Bahrain, were major factors in deciding on establishing the office in the kingdom, said Gorsuch.
'On the whole, it was felt that the Bahraini commerical environment was very conducive to doing business,' he said.
Mumtalakat Holding Company, the investment company for Bahrain, owns a 42 per cent stake in McLaren Group as well as a 50 per cent stake in McLaren Automotive. 'The kingdom is considered a home away from home by the company,' he said.
McLaren Automotive has a rich heritage in producing premium sports cars for the road. The street-legal F1 model, which was launched in 1992, is still regarded as one of the best examples of supercar exotica. The Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, one of the fastest cars on the streets today, is also the most successful supercar ever in its price bracket, with over 2,000 cars sold since its 2003 launch, he said.
The McLaren MP4-12C is the first in a range of high performance sports cars from McLaren Automotive and represents ‘pure McLaren,’ from its unique engineering to its bespoke design where everything is for a reason.
The 12C, and future models within the range, will challenge the world’s best sports cars, benefiting from the expertise and virtuosity of the McLaren Group, he said.
The 12C is set to be built in the UK at the new McLaren Production Centre in Woking. It will go on sale in Europe from spring 2011, followed soon after by the Middle East, where it will take up to 20 percent of the 1,000 12Cs built in its first year, said Gorsuch.
Registration is now open for interested buyers on McLaren Automotive website. The new super sports car is expected tobe priced at $250,000. – TradeArabia News Service
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