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First, I want to thank all who responded to my post “[FONT=&quot]Another Buying Advice Request” on March 10th[/FONT]. The information in the forum posts as well as the PMs was very helpful to me in my decision making process.

After test driving the 458 and 12C, it was an easy decision to go with the 12C. The price between the two (a 2010 458 and new 12C) was close enough that cost wasn’t a factor. I agree with others that the 12C seemed a generation ahead of the 458. Both have great transmissions and exhaust sounds that are different but equally satisfying to me. Seating comfort was equivalent between the two. I much preferred the look over the hood from the driver’s seat in the 12C and also the overall look of the car. I have always felt the esthetics of the 458 were a real drop down from the F430 which, along with the F360, are darn near pieces of sculpture. If I hadn’t found the look of the 458 so lacking I probably would have traded my 430 in on one some time ago.

A comparison of the 12C to the 458 in the July 2011 issue of Car and Driver really nailed one important difference I noticed between the two cars: “Our main complaint with the Ferrari is that, despite being only 1.1 inches wider than the McLaren, it feels like it’s spilling over both sides of the road. Part of this is the driving position—being seated at the outer edge of the car only heightens the sensation of breadth. Whatever the reason, the 458 feels ungainly on tight roads and anywhere there’s the possibility of oncoming traffic.” I just couldn’t agree more with this. The 12C gives a better sense of where the car is on the road. For those of you who have not read this review it’s a worthwhile read.

I prefer the steering feel of the 12C. The car I drove had all the updates and it felt more powerful than the 458 and had a more nimble feel. Finally, the ride in the 12C in the comfort setting is simply amazing. This is a car you could drive every day, all day in complete comfort and then change a few switch settings and be highly competitive in a track setting.

In one of the posts on this forum I recall a 12C owner stating something along the lines of “I can’t believe I almost bought a 458” Well, I feel pretty much the same way and it was just luck that I happened to start seriously considering one. While I have been aware of the car from its beginning, it was just sort on hanging around in the back of my mind, which leads me to my final comment here and it’s about McLaren’s marketing. As has often been mentioned here, it really is a problem.

To begin with the name, MP4-12C, really is a dreadful start for a company trying to build brand awareness across a much larger market segment than they historically addressed. I feel somewhat certain the name was chosen by engineering types within the company, maybe working with some local PR types, and was not the result of a well researched, thoughtful naming process under the direction of one of the leading international branding/naming consulting firms. The companies that do this type of work really do know what they are doing and they go far beyond just coming up with a name. They will place an overall naming strategy within a broader context of a complete brand building strategy. Companies such as McLaren with historical roots in deep engineering expertise, often have a hard time accepting that such expertise exists and has any substantial value, but for the sake of the future success of the company I hope they seek out such help. This type of branding effort is in addition, of course, to getting a handle on Quality Control and doing all the more obvious, savvy PR type of things like the loaner car to Evo, wining and dining the heck out of the various car magazine writers and pundits, etc.

What a shame it would be if, after producing such a superior product they, in the end, fail because they never really “got” what all the non-engineering tasks are that have to be done to successfully expand their market. The saying “if we build it they will come” works for 106 F1’s but is not sufficient in going against Ferrari, Porsche et al. with a goal of thousands of units a year.
 

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Congratulations on your choice. Don't worry too much about the model designation for now, just enjoy the car, assuming you don't have to wait too long.
 

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Your post is simply brilliant . McLaren does not have a clue how to market a terrific product. And in the end, this may be a very costly error .
 

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First, I want to thank all who responded to my post “[FONT=&quot]Another Buying Advice Request” on March 10th[/FONT]. The information in the forum posts as well as the PMs was very helpful to me in my decision making process.

After test driving the 458 and 12C, it was an easy decision to go with the 12C. The price between the two (a 2010 458 and new 12C) was close enough that cost wasn’t a factor. I agree with others that the 12C seemed a generation ahead of the 458. Both have great transmissions and exhaust sounds that are different but equally satisfying to me. Seating comfort was equivalent between the two. I much preferred the look over the hood from the driver’s seat in the 12C and also the overall look of the car. I have always felt the esthetics of the 458 were a real drop down from the F430 which, along with the F360, are darn near pieces of sculpture. If I hadn’t found the look of the 458 so lacking I probably would have traded my 430 in on one some time ago.

A comparison of the 12C to the 458 in the July 2011 issue of Car and Driver really nailed one important difference I noticed between the two cars: “Our main complaint with the Ferrari is that, despite being only 1.1 inches wider than the McLaren, it feels like it’s spilling over both sides of the road. Part of this is the driving position—being seated at the outer edge of the car only heightens the sensation of breadth. Whatever the reason, the 458 feels ungainly on tight roads and anywhere there’s the possibility of oncoming traffic.” I just couldn’t agree more with this. The 12C gives a better sense of where the car is on the road. For those of you who have not read this review it’s a worthwhile read.

I prefer the steering feel of the 12C. The car I drove had all the updates and it felt more powerful than the 458 and had a more nimble feel. Finally, the ride in the 12C in the comfort setting is simply amazing. This is a car you could drive every day, all day in complete comfort and then change a few switch settings and be highly competitive in a track setting.

In one of the posts on this forum I recall a 12C owner stating something along the lines of “I can’t believe I almost bought a 458” Well, I feel pretty much the same way and it was just luck that I happened to start seriously considering one. While I have been aware of the car from its beginning, it was just sort on hanging around in the back of my mind, which leads me to my final comment here and it’s about McLaren’s marketing. As has often been mentioned here, it really is a problem.

To begin with the name, MP4-12C, really is a dreadful start for a company trying to build brand awareness across a much larger market segment than they historically addressed. I feel somewhat certain the name was chosen by engineering types within the company, maybe working with some local PR types, and was not the result of a well researched, thoughtful naming process under the direction of one of the leading international branding/naming consulting firms. The companies that do this type of work really do know what they are doing and they go far beyond just coming up with a name. They will place an overall naming strategy within a broader context of a complete brand building strategy. Companies such as McLaren with historical roots in deep engineering expertise, often have a hard time accepting that such expertise exists and has any substantial value, but for the sake of the future success of the company I hope they seek out such help. This type of branding effort is in addition, of course, to getting a handle on Quality Control and doing all the more obvious, savvy PR type of things like the loaner car to Evo, wining and dining the heck out of the various car magazine writers and pundits, etc.

What a shame it would be if, after producing such a superior product they, in the end, fail because they never really “got” what all the non-engineering tasks are that have to be done to successfully expand their market. The saying “if we build it they will come” works for 106 F1’s but is not sufficient in going against Ferrari, Porsche et al. with a goal of thousands of units a year.
You know Bob5 it's always nice to read a story like that, it just reconfirms my many reasons for opting to purchase such a beautiful car. I wish you all the best with your new acquisition, congrats. Cheers.....??
 

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Congrats! I have a 12C and a 458 Spider and I definitely prefer driving the 12C for all the reasons you described.

Yes, McLaren is clueless about marketing let alone generating a "cult of ownership". I have done better with a fraction of the budget. That promo video with the snowboarder... what a waste of money and effort. It was really pointless.

Some may argue they are a new car company and don't have the customer base. But really, they have a racing heritage only few car companies can claim. It is really pathetic that we hear more about Dennis' obessive complusive disorder rather than the storyline of why we owners believe the car is a generation ahead.
 

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That all makes sense but I'm still uncertain what they could have done better. Build fewer so big fish can speculate? Choose a clever name? The Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini nomenclatures are a disaster: LP-700 Aventador, 911 997 GT2, F40, F150, (not F)360, etc. If Formula One racing credibility sold the F1 street car, and that car was so great, why not invoke the MP4 name for the 12C? And car enthusiasts are so information hungry that a good car rumor burns across the web like a nude Keira Knightly pic. I knew about the 12C years before I wanted one. Are we really wishing McLaren become expert BS artists? Send ringer cars with bottles of wine in the seat? Yes, if it means their survival and my residual ;)

McLaren should make certain each and every owner is very happy. That will be enough for me. Referrals and repeat sales are lost through poor service and support, a lesson GM and Ford have yet to learn.
 

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First, I want to thank all who responded to my post “[FONT=&quot]Another Buying Advice Request” on March 10th[/FONT]. The information in the forum posts as well as the PMs was very helpful to me in my decision making process.

After test driving the 458 and 12C, it was an easy decision to go with the 12C. The price between the two (a 2010 458 and new 12C) was close enough that cost wasn’t a factor. I agree with others that the 12C seemed a generation ahead of the 458. Both have great transmissions and exhaust sounds that are different but equally satisfying to me. Seating comfort was equivalent between the two. I much preferred the look over the hood from the driver’s seat in the 12C and also the overall look of the car. I have always felt the esthetics of the 458 were a real drop down from the F430 which, along with the F360, are darn near pieces of sculpture. If I hadn’t found the look of the 458 so lacking I probably would have traded my 430 in on one some time ago.

A comparison of the 12C to the 458 in the July 2011 issue of Car and Driver really nailed one important difference I noticed between the two cars: “Our main complaint with the Ferrari is that, despite being only 1.1 inches wider than the McLaren, it feels like it’s spilling over both sides of the road. Part of this is the driving position—being seated at the outer edge of the car only heightens the sensation of breadth. Whatever the reason, the 458 feels ungainly on tight roads and anywhere there’s the possibility of oncoming traffic.” I just couldn’t agree more with this. The 12C gives a better sense of where the car is on the road. For those of you who have not read this review it’s a worthwhile read.

I prefer the steering feel of the 12C. The car I drove had all the updates and it felt more powerful than the 458 and had a more nimble feel. Finally, the ride in the 12C in the comfort setting is simply amazing. This is a car you could drive every day, all day in complete comfort and then change a few switch settings and be highly competitive in a track setting.

In one of the posts on this forum I recall a 12C owner stating something along the lines of “I can’t believe I almost bought a 458” Well, I feel pretty much the same way and it was just luck that I happened to start seriously considering one. While I have been aware of the car from its beginning, it was just sort on hanging around in the back of my mind, which leads me to my final comment here and it’s about McLaren’s marketing. As has often been mentioned here, it really is a problem.

To begin with the name, MP4-12C, really is a dreadful start for a company trying to build brand awareness across a much larger market segment than they historically addressed. I feel somewhat certain the name was chosen by engineering types within the company, maybe working with some local <acronym title="Google Page Ranking"><acronym title="Google Page Ranking">PR</acronym></acronym> types, and was not the result of a well researched, thoughtful naming process under the direction of one of the leading international branding/naming consulting firms. The companies that do this type of work really do know what they are doing and they go far beyond just coming up with a name. They will place an overall naming strategy within a broader context of a complete brand building strategy. Companies such as McLaren with historical roots in deep engineering expertise, often have a hard time accepting that such expertise exists and has any substantial value, but for the sake of the future success of the company I hope they seek out such help. This type of branding effort is in addition, of course, to getting a handle on Quality Control and doing all the more obvious, savvy <acronym title="Google Page Ranking"><acronym title="Google Page Ranking">PR</acronym></acronym> type of things like the loaner car to Evo, wining and dining the heck out of the various car magazine writers and pundits, etc.

What a shame it would be if, after producing such a superior product they, in the end, fail because they never really “got” what all the non-engineering tasks are that have to be done to successfully expand their market. The saying “if we build it they will come” works for 106 F1’s but is not sufficient in going against Ferrari, Porsche et al. with a goal of thousands of units a year.
I'd have to say you've hit most or all of the nails on the head there. I think most people would be delighted to own either the 12C or the 458 but likewise I preferred the 12C hugely to the 458 which amazing car that it is, always felt on a public road that it would rather send me into a lampost than deliver me safely at home. I'm sure it's first rate on a track but for the vast majority of the driving I'll do, the 12C does everything I want very simply and you know you can send it bananas at the the drop of a hat.

McLaren's marketing is without a shadow of a doubt a huge issue, what you quite do about it I'm not sure but you are damn right that there are plenty of people available that would know what to do about it.

Singapore is a prime example. I like the fact that the car is 'not a Ferrari' but that's not to say everyone else does. The two dealerships here are across the road from each other and they are chalk and cheese. I know which one I prefer but I'm not necessarily representative of the wider market here. We can adopt our own snobbery and say 'we don't want those kind of people' but the name of the game is selling cars and I'm sure in the main we'd all the like the car to be a roaring success as it fully deserves to be.

I much much prefer McLaren't approach to everything and the guys at the dealership here are all first rate but at some point McLaren has to figure out how to appeal to the people they are missing or are not getting through to. At the same time, Porsche take a very different approach to Ferrari also and there is reason people buy their cars instead also and it isn't just price.

Even with the F1 heritage, it was always going to be impossible to catch Ferrari up over night so I guess it's easy to be too critical but I completely agree that they could be getting some better advice on what to work on. I look at the P1 versus La Ferrari and to me again it's no contest even just on looks alone, yet the press seems to have the Ferrari down as the winner for no other reason than I can see that Ferrari seems to be the 'default'.......
 

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Bob5..........I do not know what country you are from but when I heard the name of the new Mclaren sports car I thought it was a postcode (zip code) as here in the UK postcodes are typically 2 letters and a number and then numbers and letters..........so, ladies and gentlemen, we present the future of Mclaren, the MP4 12C, the Mclaren postcode!

No, the Mclaren Surtees, Mclaren Senna, Mclaren Silverstone, Mclaren Dart were all rejected but we liked The Mclaren Woking.........


ps. Are you a mate of Rowan Atkinson? Do you recall he thought all his friends should be renamed Bob1, Bob 2 and so on, Bob 5 etc so it would be easy to remember names..........Bob 5 old boy just go and get the postcode for a run.
 

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Bob5, Bob12 here..

When I test drove the 458 my reaction mirrored the Car & Driver quote........it seemed so wide especially on country roads when faced with oncoming traffic, put me off in comparison with the Postcode. No doubt , for me, the 458 is an 'event' with a great naturally aspirated engine.

However the Postcode has become an event as well as we are mobbed everywhere we go. That leads to an interesting marketing challenge as the Postcode is so much more appealing in the flesh than in images. How to overcome that........expose the car at shows and events I guess.
 

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Very often one reads 458 vs MP4 and I'm not too sure whether it's the purpose of Mclaren to really compete but rather differentiate from what's existing on the market. Perhaps they make less fuzz about their cars and just perhaps it's not their purpose to go for a volume business with many different models. Perhaps they just offer these two models and in a descrete way convince those people who care. The support - the dealer network is just amazing over here.
Besides the minor things with the car in the beginning it's a damn good product. There's no need to spend huge marketing budgets and let the people find out by themselves. In the meantime it remains more exclusive. The reason why I'm not interested in buying an F-car is because there are just too many around
 

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That all makes sense but I'm still uncertain what they could have done better. Build fewer so big fish can speculate? Choose a clever name? The Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini nomenclatures are a disaster: LP-700 Aventador, 911 997 GT2, F40, F150, (not F)360, etc. If Formula One racing credibility sold the F1 street car, and that car was so great, why not invoke the MP4 name for the 12C? And car enthusiasts are so information hungry that a good car rumor burns across the web like a nude Keira Knightly pic. I knew about the 12C years before I wanted one. Are we really wishing McLaren become expert BS artists? Send ringer cars with bottles of wine in the seat? Yes, if it means their survival and my residual ;)

McLaren should make certain each and every owner is very happy. That will be enough for me. Referrals and repeat sales are lost through poor service and support, a lesson GM and Ford have yet to learn.
This is, in my opinion, the single best post on this board all year. You should post more often, ergo.

p.s. to Bob the OP - many congrats! Wait till you get your 12C on the track; it's nirvana. Then you'll further appreciate the MP4 bit!
 

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Bob5..........I do not know what country you are from but when I heard the name of the new Mclaren sports car I thought it was a postcode (zip code) as here in the UK postcodes are typically 2 letters and a number and then numbers and letters..........so, ladies and gentlemen, we present the future of Mclaren, the MP4 12C, the Mclaren postcode!

No, the Mclaren Surtees, Mclaren Senna, Mclaren Silverstone, Mclaren Dart were all rejected but we liked The Mclaren Woking.........


ps. Are you a mate of Rowan Atkinson? Do you recall he thought all his friends should be renamed Bob1, Bob 2 and so on, Bob 5 etc so it would be easy to remember names..........Bob 5 old boy just go and get the postcode for a run.
Oh, Dear Mr Circles. You've taken so many words almost directly from my delicate mouth. So many of my thoughts have you appropriated.

Had the same opinions and thoughts re car names, even the bloody Blackadder reference!

I'd also thought of McLaren names; Ron, Dunsfold, Mikka, Button, Bruce or Montenegro. They don't work clearly. Some companies get away with sexy sounding names, Ferrari, Lamborghini and TVR for example. BMW couldn't. Nor Audi. Triumph did. Jaguar could.

MP4 clearly has heritage and I like it.

Bottom line is, we're stuck with McLaren Postcode. No problem. It's the least of the marketing issues.

I also fully agree (damn you) with the comments relating to seeing the car in the flesh rather than in images. I've lost count of the people that have said words to the effect of; 'Wow, the car is so much more stunning in the flesh than in pictures Naranja, now can I sleep with you please?'. No you can't Sir, I reply. Time and time again.

I like you Bob, you've got balls.
 

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Bob12 here. British motorcycle companies used to have good emotive names......Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Trophy, Triumph Tiger, Triumph Spitfire ( OK a car), Vincent Black Shadow, Vincent Black Lightening.........but Jaguar did well with E type, XK10, XJ......

MP12 is Ok but MP4-12C somehow is just too much of a mouthful , who cares if it is made of carbon and if they all are made of carbon why have it in the name? Perhaps Ron (Bob1) had a Raleigh All Steel as a kid?

Actually the test if a name works is when someone asks you what car do you have.......oh, I have an E type, well I have a Spifire.........me I have a MP4-12C.........bet you say Mclaren or 12C?


Any way we can cope with our MP4-12C names as it is a truly great carbon/steel/plastic car.
 

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Bob12 here. British motorcycle companies used to have good emotive names......Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Trophy, Triumph Tiger, Triumph Spitfire ( OK a car), Vincent Black Shadow, Vincent Black Lightening.........but Jaguar did well with E type, XK10, XJ......

MP12 is Ok but MP4-12C somehow is just too much of a mouthful , who cares if it is made of carbon and if they all are made of carbon why have it in the name? Perhaps Ron (Bob1) had a Raleigh All Steel as a kid?

Actually the test if a name works is when someone asks you what car do you have.......oh, I have an E type, well I have a Spifire.........me I have a MP4-12C.........bet you say Mclaren or 12C?


Any way we can cope with our MP4-12C names as it is a truly great carbon/steel/plastic car.
I drive a McLaren MP4. So did Ayrton Senna, Mika and Lewis. Good enough for me.

The F1 should have been called the MP4-F1. And the P1 should be MP4-P1. So there. :p
 

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6th, that's interesting as you know the heritage. Guess the fact that it still needs establishing, the short name that is, says something.

At the MPC I hear it referred as the 12C, but that is probably due to engineering and production.


Would be interesting to know what other owners call their cars.
 

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6th, that's interesting as you know the heritage. Guess the fact that it still needs establishing, the short name that is, says something.

At the MPC I hear it referred as the 12C, but that is probably due to engineering and production.


Would be interesting to know what other owners call there cars.
I call mine Bob, funnily enough.
 

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Bob12 here. British motorcycle companies used to have good emotive names......Triumph Bonneville, Triumph Trophy, Triumph Tiger, Triumph Spitfire ( OK a car), Vincent Black Shadow, Vincent Black Lightening.........but Jaguar did well with E type, XK10, XJ......

MP12 is Ok but MP4-12C somehow is just too much of a mouthful , who cares if it is made of carbon and if they all are made of carbon why have it in the name? Perhaps Ron (Bob1) had a Raleigh All Steel as a kid?

Actually the test if a name works is when someone asks you what car do you have.......oh, I have an E type, well I have a Spifire.........me I have a MP4-12C.........bet you say Mclaren or 12C?


Any way we can cope with our MP4-12C names as it is a truly great carbon/steel/plastic car.
Ahh, don't start me on bikes. I own a Tiger and a Hayabusa, great names. And one of them eats Blackbirds.
 
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