Currently reading: McLaren prioritises profitability over electric cars
CEO Michael Leiters says 2023 will be “difficult”, and firm must become “robust”

McLaren will look to extend its range beyond its core mid-engined supercar models - but not before 2028.

Speaking at Autocar at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, McLaren CEO Michael Leiters said the firm’s immediate priorities were to complete a reorganisation and recapitalisation of the company “to bring the company on the right road to profitability” when asked how plans for a long-rumoured crossover model were progressing.

“If we are on the right road for profitability, we will think about extension across all segments. We call it ‘shared performance’. Shared performance could be everything which has more than two doors and/or more than two seats.

‘This is something we will think about later. We didn't make a decision on that. It's definitely a business opportunity for us. But I don't see that in the near future. If you consider what I said - recapitalisation and then going to profitability plus the development time [of the car] - this won't be before 2028.”

Mclaren artura front three quarter

Leiters is just over a year into his role at McLaren, and has spent much of his time since reorganising the company’s internal structure. The focus is now on working with existing shareholders “to recapitalise the company to fund and restructure” to allow it to return to profitability, the shareholders “aligned with this vision and business plan”.

While this work is ongoing, “2023 will be a difficult year” for revenues and profitability, as in parallel to this structure and finance work Leiters is working on improving the quality of McLaren car that means its Woking factory is not working at full capacity. 

The McLaren Artura hybrid supercar has not yet fully reached its full production capacity, Leiters said, admitting that this will cause customer delays, including to the US launch.  However, this was important “as the Artura is a fantastic car, and we don’t want to damage the image by taking risks” in delivering cars not at the required quality. “We still have to ‘robust’ our organisation and supply chain on that.” Some 500 Arturas had been delivered to date. 

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Mclaren 750s front quarter 1

The 720S-replacing 750S is in the ramp up phase now towards production, with the first deliveries expected at the end of this year. The car is already sold out to the end of 2024. 

Leiters believes these two cars sit together far better in McLaren’s range than anything previously as they have clear positioning and differences, both in terms of cylinder count (the Artura is a V6, the 750S a V8) and a technology (the former is hybrid, the latter pure ICE). 

These two models will be McLaren’s core range until the proposed 2028 expansion, and Leiters believes that the firm can still grow in the supercar market, not necessarily through volume but with increased pricing and “more specials”. 

On future electric models in its supercar range, Leieters said there were three pillars to the firm’s line-up and future plans: pure internal combustion engined models, hybrids and EVs. The 750S and Artura sit in the first two pillars respectively, with Leiter saying he expects hybrids to make up 90% of McLaren volumes in five years.

On EVS, he said the firm “did not want to do a car weighing 2000kg and with 2000bhp as anyone can do that” and instead if it was to launch an electric car it would have to be “comparable to a 750S weight wise”. He added: “We are working on concepts and have really exciting ideas around that, and if in time it is there it has to outperform what we can do with ICE.” That last comment not only refers to performance but also how the car drives, and the emotional experience for the driver.

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Q&A, Michael Leiters, CEO McLaren

Mclaren ceo michael leiters

Are any of your customers asking for electric cars?

“No, but we have to be careful. Times are changing and we have to prepare for new times. The success of 750S shows our customers love ICE cars, but maybe there are other customers and they’re interested in other stuff. Today is not the time for that but maybe at the end of the decade.”

Does regulation force you towards EVs?

“Regulation in the past has been positive for innovation when it has been purposeful and open for all technologies. Then you have to consider the consumer; if you go against them you won’t be successful. I’m very happy about the opening of proposals for E-fuels. I’m not saying they’re the solution but they’re a strong signal we’re coming to a technology neutral discussion. EV, e-fuels, hydrogen: whatever you use, they are young and fresh so who knows the full potential of them and why do we believe only one technology can cover all use cases?”

Will you move more to names of cars like Artura rather than alphanumerical names like 750S?

“[smiles] We will explain to you when we do the next model.”

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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KarlaMikaela 19 July 2023

I get paid more than $200 to $400 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after w2 joining this I have earned easily $30k from this without having online working skills . Simply give it a shot on the accompanying site…

Here is I started.…………>>

manicm 18 July 2023
In plain English, the 750s should just about tide us over as we didn't have the money to develop a competitor to the SF90.

With the Arturo being a hybrid I very much doubt they'll develop a brand new purely ICE car. I see no purely ICE successor to the 750s. The next Hurucan will be a V8 hybrid, Lamborghini throwing down the gauntlet.

Yes, Ferrari stretched the F8 platform for nearly 12 years, but McLaren saying they'll only launch anything with 4 seats in 2028 is worrying.

The 750s will be an excellent car, but the Ferrari 298 will surely steal buyers.

Just Saying 18 July 2023
An accurate assessment.
I too am beginning to see concern for the very future of McLaren