Ron Dennis looks to emulate Ferrari's success with road car project
8 December 2009

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has revealed that a desire to emulate Ferrari's success is behind his company's decision to build road cars.

Speaking at the Autosport Awards, Dennis conceded that the decision to build McLaren road cars has led to the impending end of the team's exclusive F1 deal with Mercedes, but he insisted the long-term gains will justify the deal.

See Autocar's exclusive McLaren MP4-12C picture gallery

See Autocar's exclusive McLaren MP4-12C video

"It is really a development of the brand," said Dennis, who was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the award ceremony.

"We have had some great partners - and I have to mention Mercedes-Benz. They have been phenomenally strong partners of us, and there was a time when we had to think hard and long about what was the right thing for McLaren.

"When I look at the achievements of Ferrari and what we intend for McLaren, it is absolutely categorically the right thing for us to plough our own furrow. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

"I am delighted for Brawn and the Mercedes GP team of the future, and at the end of the day, we were extremely supportive of solving the problems with Brawn."

Dennis also dimissed suggestions he could return to the race team next season, insisting his sole focus is now on McLaren's road car division.

"No. No. No," he said when asked about an F1 comeback. "My role in active F1 is definitely over.

"I will go to some grands prix because I love it. My brain is in McLaren but my heart is in motor racing, so I will definitely be at some grands prix. But it will not be on the pit wall and not as anything other than a spectator."

McLaren plans to build a range of sportscars over the next few years - with the MP4-12C due to be the first of the new range.

McLaren MP4-12C links:

See Autocar's exclusive McLaren MP4-12C picture gallery

Download the McLaren MP4-12C wallpaper picture

See Autocar's exclusive McLaren MP4-12C video

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Chas Hallett blog - inside the McLaren MP4-12C

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Comments
15

8 December 2009

I hope McLaren can pull it off. The last Ferrari I really liked was the 360 but nothing has interested me since. It would have been nice if the USP for McLaren was a central seating position on all of their models.

8 December 2009

well i think this new mp4 mclaren is really very good. you could argue its the first proper british sportscar ever ? (excluding the plethora of ' fibreglass kit cars ' )

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

8 December 2009

Oh, dear, naked ambition made public. It would have been better to exercise diplomacy and some degree of modesty. Such claims have a way of biting you when you least expect it. Nevertheless, I wish the company success, and hope it might build an affordable sports car for the masses one day. That way lies a reasonable chance of survival. By maintaining a strictly elitist policy Ferrari has gone through a dozen cliff edge falls since its inception, almost sold to Ford at one point in its history.

8 December 2009

Rons obssesion with Ferrari is starting to get a bit worrying!.

After all these years of not needing to build road cars, why is it suddenly required?.Does he honestly think he's going to build up a worldwide following to match or even outdo Ferrari? ( in his mind I suspect this is the case). He needs to realise that Ferrari's following has been built up over 62 years of production, you can't do it over night.

Must be hard though knowing that what Enzo Ferrari built up is known as Ferrari, where as what he wants to build up has to be called McLaren and that the name Dennis will forever be associated with buses, trucks and fire engines.

Still, it's nice to see he can manage to call them Ferrari these days after all the years of reffering to them as "The red cars".

As the saying goes " Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", so this is the closest we will ever get to hearing Ron Dennis admit "I wish My company was Ferrari!"

8 December 2009

[quote 4rephill]As the saying goes " Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", so this is the closest we will ever get to hearing Ron Dennis admit "I wish My company was Ferrari!"
[/quote]

I'm not sure he wishes that at all, McLaren have managed well enough pretty much on their own, whereas Ferrari had to be saved by Fiat of all companies. McLaren have a very strong group of companies that are all well respected in their fields, do Ferrari do anything other than race and build cars?

He no doubt picks Ferrari as the are the obvious direct competitor, afterall Lambo, Porsche and the like aren't in F1.

As for the name of the company, as he has rightly pointed out in the past, if he had so desired he could have changed the name of the team/company a long time ago, but he didn't want to, he wanted to keep the name McLaren, so perhaps a bit more modest than people like Ross Brawn!

8 December 2009

I'd like to see McLaren do something really radical alongside the sports cars and build Gordon Murray's T25 city car

8 December 2009

[quote twyford]

I'm not sure he wishes that at all, McLaren have managed well enough pretty much on their own, whereas Ferrari had to be saved by Fiat of all companies. McLaren have a very strong group of companies that are all well respected in their fields, do Ferrari do anything other than race and build cars?

He no doubt picks Ferrari as the are the obvious direct competitor, afterall Lambo, Porsche and the like aren't in F1.

[/quote]

I agree that Ferrari are their most obvious direct competitor.[quote twyford]As for the name of the company, as he has rightly pointed out in the past, if he had so desired he could have changed the name of the team/company a long time ago, but he didn't want to, he wanted to keep the name McLaren, so perhaps a bit more modest than people like Ross Brawn![/quote]

Not sure about this one. Ross Brawn was hardly going to keep calling the company Honda. And the decision to keep the Mclaren name was in reality, probably little to do with modesty. I think McLaren would have lost some of their heritage and presitge if they had abandoned the name of the famous mark and changed to the Ron MP4-12C or the Dennis MP4-12c, as pointed out earlier, the latter would have some municipal connotations.

8 December 2009

Hang about hey say 'WE CAN emulate Ferrari and not we would like to. That is a bit bold. That's a bit like a newbie actor like Orlando Bloom saying HE CAN emulate Robert Deniro.

I'm sorry but thats slightly unrealistic, there is a whole lot of Ferrari history that is being dismissed straight away, from the simple things like 'The Magnum Car' to all those F1 titles and that amazing design language.

This is not easy to say for me since i'm a Porsche fan. However even I recognise the greatness of Ferrari. In the same way that i'm a Liverpool fan and recognise the greatness of the scum Man U.

8 December 2009

For goodness sake stop being so British all of you: jealous of the man's success and sneering at his ambition. If this was America or pretty much anywhere in the fast developing Asian economies we'd be cheering his achievements and wishing him the fulfilment of his dreams.

And that might help him achieve more and put some money back into this country. With attitudes like yours you're jolly welll going to need it.

Good luck to McLaren I say. I'd love to see a genuine British supercar to complement our lightweight superstars like Lotus and Caterham.

8 December 2009

'We can emulate Ferrari'

No it cant.............

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