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I'm not convinced any independent exotic company can survive other than Ferrari. There's no evidence Lamborghini is even that profitable with all the support it gets from VAG etc.

I'm just not sure there is actually any money to be made in exotics, thus I'm not sure how McLaren will ultimately survive.
 

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Your point about build quality with the Artura is spot on. No more issues, however rare. Their cars need to be on par with others. While I’ve had zero issues with my 720, obviously there is still the perception that Mclaren’s are error prone. That needs to go.
 

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They need to broaden their customer base. Improved reliability certainly will help. Making parts available outside of the small dealer (stealer) network will help. An expanded network of independent repair shops will help. Supporting and sanctioning an owners club (e.g. Ferrari and Porsche) will help. One of the best parts of my Ferrari and Porsche ownership was the many club events like rallies, track events etc that gives you an opportunity to hang out with people of similar interest. McLaren makes some epic cars but largely treat their customers like crap. For me I am willing to overlook that (for a while at least) to have the opportunity to drive a fantastic car. Many potential customers are not willing to overlook all of that baggage.
 

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McLaren based independent shop. Specializing in McLaren, but open to all luxury and exotics. Over 20 years automotive experience, 10 of which was with McLaren. Certified and trained at MTC from 12c all the way up to P1, Senna, and Speedtail. Opening June 2021. larmotorsports.com
 

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I just don't think McLaren needs to really change anything. They make great cars, sales are pretty good, it's just not a profitable business. I bet Urus is the only thing keeping Lamborghini lights on considering it's development was already paid for by Q8/whatever.
 

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New cars, sales and servicing this cars under warranty.
Who knows how the long term ICE restrictions will have on the long term secondary market.
I think parts supply long term and service center broadening will help the perception of mclaren for down the road.
Ferrari and Lamborghini did a great job borrowing parts from other car makers way back, so I can still get parts to fix the Countach and Ferrari.
Mclaren is bespoked compared to major powerhouses in the industry. They have taken proprietary to new level. How that plays out?
All of these cars get old. And it’s not just about the new sale but what happens next. And, a lot of this is being decided by restriction which are coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your point about build quality with the Artura is spot on. No more issues, however rare. Their cars need to be on par with others. While I’ve had zero issues with my 720, obviously there is still the perception that Mclaren’s are error prone. That needs to go.
Getting the quality and reliability right has to be job #1. Getting the perception in the market to go away will take time though.
 

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This must be the first time that they showed "wholesale" - sold to dealers and "retail" - sold from dealer to customer. I don't think they have ever shown retail numbers.

On top of covid on the retail side of things was the transition from Ally to Chase. My dealer told me that it was tough going to sell cars during that transition period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This must be the first time that they showed "wholesale" - sold to dealers and "retail" - sold from dealer to customer. I don't think they have ever shown retail numbers.

On top of covid on the retail side of things was the transition from Ally to Chase. My dealer told me that it was tough going to sell cars during that transition period.
Its certainly the first time I remember seeing retail numbers, What is quite shocking is the obvious inventory build in 2018 & 2019.
 

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The reliability and build quality thing is a growing pains problem. Let's remember, other than the F1, they have only been making cars for 9 years. 9 years! Look what they have managed to pull off. They have put Ferrari on their heels, with the 720 and arguably the rest of their line up are class leaders as well.

Every manufacturer has problems. The stories on here of how they have handled them (if accurate), are not great. I have a '17 570S that I have driven hard, taken trips with, tracked and have not had any issues. Build quality is fine. I also know at least a dozen guys that have similar experiences. There is one guy with electrical gremlins. His car was great until he modded it with a big stereo. That's not McLaren's fault. It seems that these cars don't like to be altered. McLaren tends to deny claims on modded cars. Those are their rules. If you want to play in their game, follow the rules. And do these things really need to be faster? I've raced and been an instructor for 20+ years and I can't get everything out of my, bone stock car, while never running into anything on the road or track that I can't run away from.

btw..... Ferrari is part of the Fiat group. They aren't independent. McLaren actually stands alone in that department.

I come from 30+ years of Ferraris. Everything from 308s and TRs to a Challenge Stradale and F40. Drove those the same way and they were also great. If you aren't happy with Macca's build quality, the 308 looked like it was put together in a shed and the F40 was the same. To me it was part of the charm. At first I thought the 'club' thing would be great. I started the Ferrari club in AZ (which turned into the Desert Region), was the first regional director, blah, blah, blah. And after 30 years of trying to get these guys to go to the track, learn more about their cars and do anything more than pose... I got tired of making excuses for them, as the the vast majority were complete asses..... McLaren has been a breath of fresh air. Most of the guys I've met want to drive and are excited to know (and help), when I'm doing a service. The fact that I have managed to get a factory diagnostic tool has made the ownership experience much better.

Before Ferrari dealers became uniform, corporate shrines, they were simple, usually in crappy neighborhoods and run by enthusiasts that loved the cars. Some of the locals moan about the AZ dealer not having great parking, or it's tough to get in, or the 'lounge' isn't cozy enough. Really? These are enthusiast cars. Driver's cars. I could care if they have a nice sofa and espresso machine. I don't think I've ever gone through the main entrance. I go through the garage and talk with the techs, service and parts guys.

Now, to the original questions. Will McLaren make it? I hope so. If it comes down to the products. Absolutely! They are essentially a racing team that has gone into making world class sports cars and you can't argue that they have succeeded. What could they improve? Parts without the Mctax. Independents that can service the cars at realistic prices. Making proper dx tools available to the indies so they can do the work. If more people know that they won't be held hostage by the dealers, more guys will be likely to make the jump (as I did), and never look back!
 

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Getting the quality and reliability right has to be job #1. Getting the perception in the market to go away will take time though.
I think the quality perception and the depreciation perception are the 2 topics I hear most about from potential new and longer term owners. We know that in all things manufacturing there is always some rate of failure which then turns into how McLaren supports their customers for warranty and even out of warranty needs where indy shops would come into play. I was watching a recent Porsche GT3 review and even in that, comparisons were being made about McLaren electronics and other buggy issues. Every brand has their share of quality issues but the options that owners have for repairs aren't easy to access outside of the currently small dealer network.

The other perception issue around depreciation is evident in their wholesale numbers and comment about ramping down production to help clear inventory. I look at McLaren as similar to Lamborghini and Ferrari in terms of class of car and engineering and price point but McLarens tend to depreciate like Aston Martin and Maserati. This is all about inventory control and not letting dealers order up 20-30 cars and then start throwing out the lease specials. It erodes peoples loyalty. Everything depreciates but it can be controlled a bit better. I also believe that this is why Ally is no longer involved as they were generally upside down on just about any fully matured lease. Plus you have the insurance issues when a total loss hits and the big equity hit early on. I know of 2 people that dealt with this with their insurance company. The insurance companies were using the high end used car dealers that we all know about to compare values on. Hopefully we will see this change going forward.
 

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The reliability and build quality thing is a growing pains problem. Let's remember, other than the F1, they have only been making cars for 9 years. 9 years! Look what they have managed to pull off. They have put Ferrari on their heels, with the 720 and arguably the rest of their line up are class leaders as well.

Every manufacturer has problems. The stories on here of how they have handled them (if accurate), are not great. I have a '17 570S that I have driven hard, taken trips with, tracked and have not had any issues. Build quality is fine. I also know at least a dozen guys that have similar experiences. There is one guy with electrical gremlins. His car was great until he modded it with a big stereo. That's not McLaren's fault. It seems that these cars don't like to be altered. McLaren tends to deny claims on modded cars. Those are their rules. If you want to play in their game, follow the rules. And do these things really need to be faster? I've raced and been an instructor for 20+ years and I can't get everything out of my, bone stock car, while never running into anything on the road or track that I can't run away from.

btw..... Ferrari is part of the Fiat group. They aren't independent. McLaren actually stands alone in that department.

I come from 30+ years of Ferraris. Everything from 308s and TRs to a Challenge Stradale and F40. Drove those the same way and they were also great. If you aren't happy with Macca's build quality, the 308 looked like it was put together in a shed and the F40 was the same. To me it was part of the charm. At first I thought the 'club' thing would be great. I started the Ferrari club in AZ (which turned into the Desert Region), was the first regional director, blah, blah, blah. And after 30 years of trying to get these guys to go to the track, learn more about their cars and do anything more than pose... I got tired of making excuses for them, as the the vast majority were complete asses..... McLaren has been a breath of fresh air. Most of the guys I've met want to drive and are excited to know (and help), when I'm doing a service. The fact that I have managed to get a factory diagnostic tool has made the ownership experience much better.

Before Ferrari dealers became uniform, corporate shrines, they were simple, usually in crappy neighborhoods and run by enthusiasts that loved the cars. Some of the locals moan about the AZ dealer not having great parking, or it's tough to get in, or the 'lounge' isn't cozy enough. Really? These are enthusiast cars. Driver's cars. I could care if they have a nice sofa and espresso machine. I don't think I've ever gone through the main entrance. I go through the garage and talk with the techs, service and parts guys.

Now, to the original questions. Will McLaren make it? I hope so. If it comes down to the products. Absolutely! They are essentially a racing team that has gone into making world class sports cars and you can't argue that they have succeeded. What could they improve? Parts without the Mctax. Independents that can service the cars at realistic prices. Making proper dx tools available to the indies so they can do the work. If more people know that they won't be held hostage by the dealers, more guys will be likely to make the jump (as I did), and never look back!
The reliability thing is people on social media trying to cancel Mclaren. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who have vested interests in other marques that keep trying to take down or highlight issues with Mac's that are there for other marques or just inherent to cars in general (independent shops, part suppliers, dealers, owners, their kids, wrap shops and employees of all these companies are always trying to take down Mclarens).

I've seen a Scud get on fire on the side of a highway, a GT2rs on fire at a race track. No one bothers to post or re-post or give a platform for people to troll other marques like they do with Mclarens. The perception of unreliability is never going to go away. My dealer told me that 30% of their Mac clients have bought 3 or more mclarens from them. Reality from those people that count (the buyers), is much, much different then the people who are trying to cancel Mclaren.
 

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Just posted my analysis of McLaren's 2020 results and a few perspectives on their future:


Thoughts? Will they make it?
That's a good precise Boxer.

But there is a 'But'.

Firstly, fault free cars (intrinsic to re-establishing brand values ) require a change in manufacturing philosophy and that is unlikely to happen unless management changes and the measuring sticks on the shop floor change. For instance, if the measuring stick is 8 cars per day.....then 8 cars are shipped......dealers here in the UK refit the cars before customer shipment, what they can't do is alter mechanical and software integrity. If the measuring stick is 'ship only perfect' cars, fit for purpose, then build quality changes! There is no evidence this is happening or intended to happen. Indeed the Artura is lauded as easier to build with less panels, elimination of corrosion via changes to body panel seal fixtures, all intellectual approaches ( which is OK ) but no mention of shop floor assembly changes.

A further example of the foregoing is the £30m warranty spend, This is a measure of customer angst which is well documented. Japanese warranty is typically less than 0.5% of sales and thus why customers trust those Brands.
That cost of warranty when at industry levels would service a lot of debt.

But dealer stocks are now adjusted......good news.....will that lead to stronger residual performance? Only if output matches demand. I really wonder if 3000 units will be balanced with demand, maybe North America and Asia will absorb the volumes.

The build integrity issues and residual values are critical to retain or re-engage traditional customers. We will see.
 

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all i know is, if mclaren didnt make such a fantastic machine they would be out of business already. But how long will consumers follow them with poor customer service, terrible service dealers, is yet to be known.
 

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I was getting gas at the local gas station the other day. A man approached and complimented about my 600LT. He said he wanted to get a McLaren too but is very concerned about its reliability, with the 2 closest dealers Ogara and New Port Beach being 1hr+ away so if there’s any issues going back and forth it’d be a big headache. I told him I haven’t had any issue with mine other than getting the annual service done. It’s quite unfortunate that McLaren gives people such impression.
 

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all i know is, if mclaren didnt make such a fantastic machine they would be out of business already. But how long will consumers follow them with poor customer service, terrible service dealers, is yet to be known.
^this
 

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I hope/expect to see McLaren complete a significant fundraise this year. I think this is essential for the business to take the next step - eg attract new leadership, address its weaknesses, deliver world class EV sports cars etc...

When you step back and look at what they've achieved in the last decade it's not surprising more investment is required.

Worth having a read of Ferrari's 2020 Annual Report and noting their enterprise value. McLaren's brand is of course different to Ferrari.

With the right leadership, there's no reason why McLaren can't thrive in the years ahead and confound its doubters.
 
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