McLaren Has No Intention Of Dipping Into The SUV Market
British supercar brand will stick to building what it does best: sports cars and supercarsby Kirby, on
The growing popularity of SUVs has been evident throughout the auto industry as more and more automakers have taken to building their own models to take advantage of the growing demand. The SUV bug has spread so far that even premium brands like Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Rolls-Royce have all jumped in on the segment. But not every premium brand is on board with the movement and McLaren counts itself among the thinning crop of exotic brands that has no plans on building its own SUV.
During the international launch of the McLaren 570GT, McLaren PR chief Wayne Bruce (no, that’s not Batman’s alter-ego) made it clear that the British supercar brand is nowhere close to even considering the thought of launching its own SUV. According to Bruce, McLaren is serious about its intention of growing its sports car business and deviating away from that goal by building an SUV runs counter to its short- and long-term objectives. Additionally, McLaren is already doing well with its current business plan. It has made a profit over the past three years and it’s got a steady stream of new models that will be released in the coming months and years, the 570GT among them.
Then there’s arguably the most important reason: McLaren’s customers don’t want the company to build an SUV. Heeding to the calls and objections of your clients may not be a sound business decision for a bigger automaker, but with McLaren still counting itself as a niche brand with a dedicated customer base, listening to what they say is an integral part of the company’s success.
Abandoning that DNA in the name of business is something that McLaren takes really seriously, and while other firms may have been compelled to dip into the SUV market for one reason or another, the British supercar brand is keeping its feet planted with no regrets about it.
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Why it matters
I’m not that surprised to hear McLaren’s stance on the SUV issue the same way I wasn’t surprised that Ferrari has the same positions. Unlike other brands, McLaren and Ferrari don’t need to build SUVs because their identity as supercar builders has paved their way to success. Besides, both McLaren and Ferrari are free to decide what their business strategies are. Both are independent companies that aren’t forced to subject themselves to the whims of a parent firm like Lamborghini or Bentley.
On top of that, business is good for McLaren, so if the company doesn’t want to steer away from a formula that is currently working, nobody can blame it for taking that approach. Maybe it would have a different position if sales are lagging, but that hasn’t been the case in the past few years so in the company’s eyes, why fix anything if nothing’s broken. It’s an admirable position to take and one that I’m sure McLaren’s loyal fan base appreciates.
Speaking of which, the importance of that McLaren’s customers can’t be understated enough. It’s essential for a company like McLaren to appease the whims of a dedicated clientele because a big part of its success as a company is because these customers have no qualms about the cars. In some cases, there are clients who buy multiple cars just because they love McLaren. If these people are against the idea of seeing a McLaren SUV, it’s important the company listens to them. Ruffling customers’ feathers could amount to a betrayal of its performance DNA and that, in turn, could turn a lot of the same people off.
Maybe there will come a day when McLaren feels the need to jump onto the SUV bandwagon. But evidently, that “day” isn’t happening anytime soon.
Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 570GT here.