This is the statement of McLaren CEO Michael Leiters in an interview with Autocar at the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Previously, there were many rumors that McLaren would soon develop a high-clearance 4-door car similar to the Lamborghini Urus, or Ferrari Purosangue… however this is still just a rumor.
Recently, during the 2023 Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren CEO – Michael Leiters shared frankly about the fact that McLaren still has a long way to go before competing with rivals like Ferrari Purosangue, and at the same time the launch of the car line. 4 doors are destroying the tradition and symbolism of the brand.
Before developing this new car line, McLaren needs financial security. Late last year, McLaren would have to sell several models in its heritage collection to support Artura production.
It is unclear which car models were sold because McLaren’s huge heritage includes Lewis Hamilton’s legendary F1 championship-winning cars, McLaren F1s, special edition cars and project cars. As of 2021, the collection has 54 vehicles.
Selling McLaren cars to keep the business going is the most controversial thing. The McLaren CEO analyzed that McLaren’s priority right now is “putting the company on the right path to profitability”.
When McLaren’s finances are more stable, the company will truly have a vision for the future and realize the rumored car – the McLaren-branded SUV. It cannot be ruled out that McLaren will launch a new rival to the Porsche Taycan.
When he had money, McLaren started taking risks again.
“If we are on track to profitability, we will consider expanding into all segments. We call it ‘shared performance’,” Leiters said.
“Shared performance” can be anything including more than two doors or more than two seats. This McLaren will think about later. We have not made a decision on this yet. This is definitely a business opportunity for us but I don’t see that happening in the near future,” the CEO stated.
“If you look at what I’m saying (refinancing and then having profits plus new model development time) this cannot happen before 2028,” McLaren CEO explained further.
McLaren will only do it if the EV car is “equivalent to the 750S in terms of weight”, adding that McLaren has some “very interesting ideas” around this and if it is successful, “it should outperform what we can do with ICE”.
Leiters admitted that securing investment and restructuring of the brand was important and that “2023 will be a difficult year” for McLaren, especially because Artura production is still behind schedule and McLaren is competing strive to ensure quality is high enough to bring customers back in the future.
Basically, McLaren needs money-making machines like high-performance SUVs or EVs to grow and increase profits. Raising prices alone will not solve McLaren’s financial problems.
However, to develop such a car, money is needed. It’s a vicious cycle and McLaren is stuck in it for the long haul. That’s why Leiters was put in this position.
Special cars or limited production cars will soon overtake McLaren. That was when McLaren had not yet launched a new electric car model or entered a new segment. So at the present time, we should expect the 750S to be even stronger in the future.