Ansar Ali Takes Over McLaren Special Operations
MSO and McLaren Motorsport brought together under the same managementby Ciprian Florea, on
McLaren Special Operations (MSO), McLaren Automotive’s bespoke division, has been brought together with McLaren Motorsport under one management structure, headed by Ansar Ali, the British sports car manufacturer revealed today. The newly-created arm will handle the creation and marketing of McLaren’s rarest vehicles, as well as growing the MSO Defined portfolio for series production cars.
MSO was also integrated into the Sales & Marketing department led by Jolyon Nash, a move that should bring McLaren’s bespoke division closer to retailers and customers. This also means that all the revenue generating areas of the company were brought together, which should simply the way McLaren handles its finances from now on.
Ansar Ali joined McLaren in March 2016 as Motorsports Director. Under his guidance, the British firm launched the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint models. Previously, Ansar Ali was known for his work at Lotus and Caterham. Appointed as managing director of Caterham in 2005, Ali transformed the company that made continuation models of the Lotus Seven into a brand that had its own LMP-spec race car and Formula One team. He was also responsible for several new Seven-based models, as well as the Aeroseven concept.
Ali left Caterham in 2012 and founded his own sports car brand, Zenos. Established together with former Caterham COO Mark Edwards, Zenos introduced the E10 in 2015. At McLaren, his most important work is the launch of two race-spec version of the 570S. The 570S GT4 is already being tested in its first full racing season, before being offered to customers in 2017, while the 570S Sprint fills the gap between the standard, road-legal model and the more extreme GT4.
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Why it matters
By adding MSO to its Motorsport portfolio and by integrating the division within Sales & Marketing, McLaren will be able to develop offerings that even better suit McLaren customers and retailers without disrupting the unique spirit that has distinguished MSO since its inception. The new strategy should also simplify the way MSO works within McLaren Automotive, as well as enable the company to better handle its budget in the future. And, while changes like these are difficult to implement in larger companies, a small business like McLaren should be able to carry on without significant drawbacks.
Read our full review on the 2016 McLaren 570S GT4 here.
Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 570S Sprint here.